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Keeping warm: social connectedness and technology (a case study of Rotherham (England): technology and health in the elderly.

By Adelaide Lusambili, Angela Tod, Catherine Homer, J Abbott, J Cooke and K McDaid


The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between social connectedness and modern technology with the ability of older people to keep warm during winter. Findings from previous research in England found that high fuel prices, low income and changing patterns of fuel consumption are key barriers to keeping warm in winter for many families. Living in a cold home increases the risk of winter hospital admissions, especially among the elderly with respiratory problems. This multi disciplinary interview-based project conducted in Rotherham (England) involved social care professionals, public health specialists, and user–representatives, sociologists and medical anthropologists. We have identified many ways in which modern technology is a barrier in heating homes in winter. Using the sociological theory of Symbolic Interaction (SI) we will discuss how social connectedness and use of modern technology influences older people in heating their homes and ultimately how these factors affect their health and well being. This paper is aimed at social care professionals, policy makers, public health specialists and governments

Publisher: Common Ground
Year: 2011
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