Textile Connections E-textiles to enhance connectedness for older adults experiencing loneliness

Sara Nevay (Lead / Corresponding author), Chris Lim, Gary Gowans

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Staying connected to family, peers and the wider community can be challenging for older adults experiencing life-changing transitions such as bereavement, retirement or illness. Despite advancements in communication technologies, loneliness is a growing endemic social condition that can inherently undermine health and wellbeing, potentially causing greater risk of cognitive decline, onset disability, depression and feelings of loss of self. Low adoption of communication technologies by older people has been accredited to lack of confidence, concerns in terms of navigating complicated screens, small print and the misunderstanding of technical jargon. With research advocating internet enabled
objects in improving feelings of social connectedness, which is key to preventing or overcoming loneliness, this paper proposes that e-textiles (inherently electronic materials or electronic devices with more familiar textile components) is poised as one of the next possible frontiers for enabling communications. This paper reviews our relationship with the textile medium, considering its’ transition from traditional to e-textiles before exploring the ways e-textiles might enable older users to communicate and connect with others.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2017
Event12th European Academy of Design Conference: Design for Next - Faculty of Architecture in Valle Giulia, Rome, Italy
Duration: 12 Apr 201714 Apr 2017
http://www.designfornext.org/index.html (Link to Conference website)


Conference12th European Academy of Design Conference
Abbreviated titleEAD 12 2017
Internet address


  • E-textiles
  • Social Connectedness
  • Social Communication
  • Digital Divide


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