Well-Being and HCI in Later Life - What Matters?

  • Arlene J. AstellEmail author
  • Faustina Hwang
  • Elizabeth A. Williams
  • Libby Archer
  • Sarah Harney-Levine
  • Dave Wright
  • Maggie Ellis
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9735)


As part of the Challenging Obstacles and Barriers to Assisted Living Technologies (COBALT) project, we developed the COBALT Tools for EngagementTM, a number of innovative techniques to engage older people in all stages of the technology development process. In the present study we used Technology Tours of the homes of eight older adults to look at their daily usage and examine the ways in which technology influences well-being. All of the participants use multiple technologies every day both inside the home and out. The data highlighted how technology contributes to well-being in a number of ways, including enabling them to maintain current activities; providing a means of staying in touch with families and friends; being easy to access and learn to use; and enhancing their lives. These can be divided into two types of factors: ones that relate to the direct outcomes of technology use and how these contribute to feelings of wellbeing and factors that relate to meeting an individual’s needs, which if met contribute to their well-being. The findings indicate that well-being is a multi-faceted construct that includes autonomy, i.e. remaining independent, competence both in continuing to complete activities and learning new ones, and communication with other people. The study also indicates that Technology Tours provide an easily applicable and accessible means for enabling older adults to speak as ‘experts’ on technology.


Ageing Well-being Technology Methods 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arlene J. Astell
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Faustina Hwang
    • 3
  • Elizabeth A. Williams
    • 1
  • Libby Archer
    • 4
  • Sarah Harney-Levine
    • 1
  • Dave Wright
    • 5
  • Maggie Ellis
    • 6
  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health ScienceWhitbyCanada
  3. 3.University of ReadingReadingUK
  4. 4.Age UKLondonUK
  5. 5.University of BrightonBrightonUK
  6. 6.University of St. AndrewsSt. AndrewsUK

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