About this Research Topic
The idea of coaching is gaining traction in numerous fields of science and everday life, but the way it can be best defined and realized depends on the context and the extent to which it makes intuitive sense. A growing amount of literature suggests that coaching approaches may be valuable to in certain domains of science, but there yet seems to be a confusion as to what coaching is and what coaching does. Just to make things more complex, recent technological advances attempt to develop (e-)coaching systems, usually attentive, personalized systems that continuously monitor a user’s activity and surroundings, and that can provide optional interventions or deliver messages. Such systems may be especially useful to vulnerable populations such as the older adults.
Undoubtedly we live in a fast ageing society in which the rising older population is faced with numerous problems, such as low levels of every day activity, cognitive and functional impairments and incapacity to live independently. All these demand for assistance and today’s challenge is whether technology can actually offer and afford such assistance. To this extent, the questions to ask are how to create (gentle) coaching systems that can empower spaces of everyday life and activity; how to make them utilize a user’s profile and transparently comprehend what happens within it (the context) while the user simply interacts with the real world; what is the best way and form to provide guidance in the most transparent manner; how can one develop and/or exploit technology to help older adults or other vulnerable groups live independently while maintaining their physical, cognitive, mental and social well-being.
Keywords: behavioural change, healthy aging, virtual environment, recommender systems, self empowerment, virtual coaching, assistive and pervasive technologies, context-awareness, intervention, coaching strategy, decision support systems
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