samples and research methods in approaching the research topic of social
participation in later life. In particular, this Ph.D dissertation addresses three new
“environmental” challenges in social participation: 1) the influence of the changing
media environment, 2) the influence of relocation to long-term care institutions,
and 3) the interdependence between migration, culture and ageing.
The findings show that new media usage (e.g. Internet) can be promoted for
increasing older adults’ participation level while taking into account the fact that
older adults still have a preference for traditional media usage (e.g. newspaper, TV,
municipality newsletter). Relocation to long-term care (LTC) institutions does not
necessarily mean that older residents will withdraw from social participation. LTC
staff should be aware of their potential in devising social participation programs,
not restricted to physical activity but offer a portfolio of activities. Social
participation programs should also be linked with the residents’ life-course
experiences to overcome their reported barriers related to social participation.
Chinese culture can also be a double-edged sword, both a motivator and a barrier,
to older Chinese migrants’ social participation.
The dissertation puts forward three policy recommendations regarding promoting
old-age social participation in different environments: 1) respect older adults’
media preference in a digital inclusive society, 2) prioritize meaningful
participation to realize healthy ageing among LTC residents and 3) embrace
cultural diversity to promote social participation among ethnic minority migrants.