Digitising the wisdom of our elders: Connectedness through digital storytelling

Simone Hausknecht, Michelle Vanchu-Orosco, David Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Digital storytelling provides older adults with an opportunity to become digital producers, connect with others through story and explore their life history. The authors report on the results of a digital storytelling project for older adults. The study investigated the experiences and perceived benefits of older adults who created digital stories during a ten-week course and explored the reactions of story viewers to the digital stories they viewed during a special sharing event. Eighty-eight older adult participants in Metro Vancouver who attended one of 13 courses offered were included in the study. Most of the participants were female and over half were immigrants. Results from the focus group interviews demonstrated a rich array of reported social and emotional benefits experienced through the process of creating a digital story within the course. Three main themes emerged: social connectedness through shared experience and story, reminiscence and reflecting on life, and creating a legacy. Viewers who attended a 'Sharing Our Stories' event reported that the stories were meaningful, well constructed and invoked a range of emotions. The researchers conclude that digital storytelling may help digital storytellers increase connectedness to others and to self. Additionally, this connectedness may extend over time through the process of examining the past to create a digital story that can serve as a legacy to connect to future generations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2714-2734
Number of pages21
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • digital storytelling
  • legacy
  • older adults
  • reminiscence
  • seniors
  • social connectedness


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