EXAMINING CURRENT TECHNOLOGY‐ENABLED CARE PRACTICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA IN THE U.K.: FINDINGS FROM ACCOMMODATE (A COLLABORATIVE, COMMUNITY‐BASED ETHNOGRAPHY OF PEOPLE LIVING DEMENTIA USING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND TELECARE AT HOME)

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Abstract

Background
This study was an ethnography, a qualitative methodology based on creating descriptive and interpretive accounts of a group of people, of how people with dementia and their informal carers ‘use’ assistive technology and telecare and how these technologies do or do not ‘fit’ in their own homes. This ethnography links to a randomised controlled trial investigating the efficacy of assistive technologies and telecare called ATTILA.

Methods
The researcher carried out 190 hours of participant‐observation over eight months with nine (9) cases comprised of households in England consisting of at least one person with dementia (n=10) and a person identified as his or her ‘primary carer’ in the trial (n=10). Cases were comprised of a range of different care relationships (e.g. adult child and parent, spouses, friends of family, etc.), different assistive devices offered (e.g. automatic falls detectors, GPS tracking devices, home monitoring sensors, etc.) and different levels of severity for the person's dementia or diagnosed memory problem (e.g. MCI, mild, moderate, and severe).

Results
The researcher identified four related themes reflecting narratives shared by his participants and through observing the everyday practices of people with dementia and their informal carers in their homes: 1. Assistive technologies as disruptive devices; 2. assistive technologies becoming everyday devices; 3. homes as non‐uniform spaces; 4. homes as lived, occupied spaces.

Conclusions
Understanding the diversity of people with dementia's experiences and practices in these places are central to developing and refining community care for the population of people with dementia and their carers by adapting services at an individual level mindful of these varied, lived contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Volume7
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Research in Health and Social Care

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