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Impact of a Virtual Learning Program on Social Isolation for Older Adults

Erica Botner


The Virtual Learning Program was developed to provide isolated English-speaking older adults in Quebec access to Cummings Centre programming through live webcasting and videos on demand. The objectives of the program were to: increase social engagement and reduce the risk for mental health issues associated with chronic illness and caregiving; and provide opportunities for lifelong learning including access to health promotion and prevention information in English. This paper presents a practice perspective of the innovative and successful use of digital technology to reach and engage older adults experiencing social isolation. Preliminary results show that the program is simple, provides opportunities for lifelong learning, and has the potential to reduce social isolation. Program challenges and suggestions for therapeutic recreation practice will be discussed.

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Innovation; learning; minority group; older adults; technology; therapeutic recreation

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