Older Adults’ Media Use and Well-Being

Media as a Resource in the Process of Successful Aging

Authored by: Matthias Hofer

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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Technological advances and improvements in nutrition and health care have led to a considerable increase in life expectancy. Global life expectancy at birth rose from 64.8 years (1990–1995) to 70.0 years (2010–2014) (United Nations, 2014). While this rise in life expectancy is generally viewed as positive and desirable, it also creates new challenges for both society and individuals. Society has to deal with a growing number of older adults who may be in need of care. Older individuals often face physical and cognitive decline, health problems such as chronic illnesses, and the loss of spouses, family members, and friends. These declines are even more pronounced in very old age (85 years and older; Gerstorf et al., 2010). As a result of the decline in the overall size of their social network, older individuals become lonely, encounter diminished social support, and are less satisfied with their lives. This, in turn, has detrimental effects on their well-being and ultimately on their health (Dahlberg & McKee, 2013).

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