“On Facebook I Met Old Friends again”: The use of ICTs in the Process of Reminiscence among Older Adults

Marije Blok*, Almar A. L. Kok, Alice H. de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Reminiscence can be beneficial for social and emotional wellbeing at older ages, yet little is known about what this process looks like as well as about Information and Com-munication Technologies’ (ICTs) potentials. Broader understanding would allow us to better tailor interventions and make them more effective using ICTs. Objective: This qualitative study aims to gain insight into the process of recalling memo-ries in daily life among independent older adults, with special attention to the role of ICTs. Method: We used a two-step approach, starting with explorative interviews with older adults (N=20), aged 75 to 95, about their experiences with recalling memories. After this, participants used a diary to track examples of memories over three weeks. We returned to elaborate on the cases described by the participants. Results: Four stages were derived from the data, including the start of a memory; motiva-tions for pursuing or ignoring a memory; engagement with the memory; and next steps. We found that ICTs are used mainly at the beginning of the process as well as in the stage of engaging with the memory. Conclusion: ICTs can facilitate sensory triggers, unlock information to complete a memo-ry, and facilitate the company of others – either triggering or sharing memories. Whereas existing interventions mainly focus on initiating memories, often with old triggers, our find-ings suggest that recalling memories can play a valuable role in connecting older adults with others across age groups. ICTs can facilitate this interaction in several ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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