Access to mobile communications by older people

Toan Nguyen, Carol Irizarry, Robert Garrett, Andrew Downing

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: To investigate how older people effectively identify, select and learn to use mobile communications technologies to enhance communication and safety, and support independent living. Methods: One hundred and fifty-three older South Australians participated in a purpose-designed survey questionnaire. Results: Older people relied on family and friends for information and advice (76%), and their children's assistance with buying (45%) and learning to use (48%) new technology. The most preferred learning method was face-to-face training (56%). Less than half (44%) were interested in trying out new designs/applications, functions and capabilities that could assist with independent living. The highest need was for personal security and emergencies (88%). Conclusions: Findings suggest that the family and friends of older people play an important role in identifying, selecting and learning to use mobile communication technologies. The safety and emergency capabilities of mobile communications technologies were more important than having functions that could assist with independent living.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E7-E12
    JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


    • Independent living
    • Mobile communications
    • Mobile phone
    • Older people
    • Survey questionnaire


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