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E-Leisure and Older Adults: Findings from an International Exploratory Study

Rebecca Genoe, Cory Kulczycki, Hannah Marston, Shannon Freeman, Charles Musselwhite, Haley Rutherford


Although benefits of leisure and benefits of technology use overlap, how older adults use and perceive of technology use during their leisure time is not well understood.The purpose of this study was to explore e-leisure among older adults. This international exploratory study included 37 rural and urban-dwelling participants from Canada and the United Kingdom. Focus groups were facilitated to better understand participants’ perceptions of technology in later life. Data were analyzed using open and focused coding. Participants reported accessing leisure through technology, such as keeping in touch, engaging in games and hobbies, and supplementing offline leisure. Participants reported several drawbacks, including difficulty getting assistance from other people, challenges using and updating software, concerns related to privacy and security, and lack of confidence and interest. While technology appears to facilitate engagement in leisure for older adults, educational opportunities may be required to overcome the drawbacks of technology use. Implications for therapeutic recreation are considered. 

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Digital divide; e-leisure; gerontechnology; older adults; therapeutic recreation

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