The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between social connectedness and modern technology with the ability of older people to keep warm during winter. Findings from previous research in England found that high fuel prices, low income and changing patterns of fuel consumption are key barriers to keeping warm in winter for many families. Living in a cold home increases the risk of winter hospital admissions, especially among the elderly with respiratory problems. This multi disciplinary interview-based project conducted in Rotherham (England) involved social care professionals, public health specialists, and user–representatives, sociologists and medical anthropologists. We have identified many ways in which modern technology is a barrier in heating homes in winter. Using the sociological theory of Symbolic Interaction (SI) we will discuss how social connectedness and use of modern technology influences older people in heating their homes and ultimately how these factors affect their health and well being. This paper is aimed at social care professionals, policy makers, public health specialists and governments.
|Keywords:||Technology, Fuel Poverty, Social Connection, Symbolic Interaction, Affordable Warmth, Fuel Poverty, Older People Life|
Researcher, Public Health, National Health Service (NHS), National Health Service (NHS) Rotherham, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK
Principal Research Investigator, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Graduate Student, Public Health, National Health Service, National Health Service (NHS) Rotherham, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Consultant in Public Health, National Health Service (NHS) Rotherham, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK
Research Manager, Public Health, South Yorkshire Collaboration for Leadership, in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), South Yorkshire Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
National Energy Action (NEA), South Yorkshire, UK