How does leisure influence our health and well-being as we age? With the rapid proliferation of digital media, opportunities and challenges abound for older adults. Rather than viewing older people as passive consumers of assistive technologies, I suggest that they are agentic in their choices around their (dis)engagement with digital media. Based on an international, comparative study from 7 countries (Canada, Romania, Israel, Peru, Italy, Spain, and Colombia), my work explores how grandmothers experience digital media in their social relationships. Social aspects of well-being, specifically related to leisure, will be discussed to broaden our understanding of older adults’ experience of digital media.
The objectives of this talk are to:
Expand our understanding of the role of leisure in older adulthood
Understand the ways in which older adults engage with digital media
Explore opportunities for enhanced engagement with older adults in interventions aimed to enhance their well-being
Dr. Shannon Hebblethwaite is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University and Director of engAGE: Concordia’s Centre for Research on Aging. She holds degrees in Psychology, Recreation and Leisure Studies, as well as Family Relations and Gerontology from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo.
Shannon’s research focuses on social inclusion and the impact of leisure on well-being in a variety of contexts, including older adults, three-generation families, first-time mothers, and individuals with disabilities. Through ACT (Ageing, Communication, Technologies) and the Grannies on the Net project, Shannon explores how grandmothers engage with various digital media in their leisure and in their relationships with family and friends. Shannon is the Associate Director of the Centre de recherche et d'expertise en gérontologie sociale (CREGÉS) and Associate Editor of the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, the leading journal in the field of Therapeutic Recreation.
Dr. Hebblethwaite’s research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.