Empowering and integrating senior citizens with virtual coaching

Andreas Braun, Peter H.M.P. Roelofsma, Dieter Ferring, Milla Immonen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    With Europes aging population and an increasing number of older people living alone or geographically distant from kin, loneliness is turning into a prevalent issue. This might involve deleterious consequences for both the older person and society, such as depression and increased use of healthcare services. Virtual coaches that act as friend in a para-social relationship but also as mentor that helps the elderly end- user to create meaningful relationships in his actual social environment are a powerful method to overcome loneliness and increase the quality of life in the elderly population.The AAL Joint Programme projects A2E2 (AAL-2008-1-071) and V2me (AAL-2009-2-107) are exploring virtual coaches and their application in AAL scenarios, including the use of user avatars, virtual self-representations that allow the user to be represented in communication scenarios. Other European research projects that focus on social integration of the elderly are e.g. ALICE (AAL-2009-2-091) or WeCare (AAL-2009-2-026). Outside the European Union the negative implications of population aging can be observed in Japan, having an even larger proportion of senior citizens, using individual-centred devices, such as robot pets,1 to improve the quality of life of lonely elderly persons. The user groups involved often are not acquainted with modern ICT systems and therefore it is a challenge to create intuitive, adaptive platforms that cater to the individual needs and allow the user to interact easily.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAmbient Intelligence
    Subtitle of host publicationSecond International Joint Conference on AmI 2011, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 16-18, 2011. Proceedings
    EditorsDavid V. Keyson, Mary Lou Maher, Norbert Streitz, Adrian Cheok, Juan Carlos Augusto, Reiner Wichert, Gwenn Englebienne, Hamid Aghajan, Ben J. A. Kröse
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-25167-2
    ISBN (Print)978-3-642-25166-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventInternational Joint Conference on Ambient Intelligence, AmI 2011 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 16 Nov 201118 Nov 2011

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


    ConferenceInternational Joint Conference on Ambient Intelligence, AmI 2011
    Abbreviated titleAml 2011


    • Virtual coaching
    • senior citizens
    • older adults
    • coaching
    • social media


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