Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Tool

LeadingAge CAST produces and publishes a comprehensive portfolio of hands-on resources that help providers understand, plan for, select, implement, and adopt the appropriate technology while advocating for innovative care models.


CAST’s Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Workgroup, consisting of providers, vendors, and consultants, compiled a list of social connectedness and engagement products that currently serve the long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) market, as well as a list of functionalities and capabilities. The Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Matrix will help providers choose the product that best fits their business line and functional requirements. It has 18 sections to help organizations narrow their choices.

Why Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology?
Social isolation is consistently associated with reduced well-being, health, and quality of life, as well as negative psychological outcomes such as depression. It can even be life threatening. Recent research found that subjective feelings of loneliness can increase the risk of death by anywhere from 26% to 45%. Social isolation is common; in community-dwelling older adults, rates may be as high as 43%.

Social connectedness and engagement technology helps maintain and enhance an older adult’s relationships with peers, family, friends, and caregivers. Social connectedness technologies include social networks, video chats, audio chats, photo sharing, activity/event sharing, email, text chat, and picture chats. Social engagement technologies encompass life stories, community activity and event management, physical and mental exercises, games, music, facilitated conversations, companion apps or robots, and virtual reality (VR).