Stakeholder’s experiences of living and caring in technology-rich supported living environments for tenants living with dementia

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Abstract

Background
Technology innovation provides an opportunity to support the rising number of people living with dementia globally. The present study examines experiences of people who have dementia and live in technology enriched supported care models. Additionally, it explores caregiver’s attitudes towards technology use with the housing scheme.

Methods
A qualitative research design was adopted, and eight housing schemes consented to take part in the study. A technology audit was undertaken in addition to participant interviews and caregiver survey. Seven peer researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 people living with dementia. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Informal and formal caregivers were invited to complete a survey to capture their attitudes towards technology use. A total of 20 informal and 31 formal caregiver surveys were returned. All surveys were input into Survey Monkey and downloaded into excel for analysis. Closed questions were analysed using descriptive statistics and open-ended questions were organised into themes and described descriptively.

Results
The technology audit identified that technologies were in place from as early as 2002. Technology heterogeneity of, both passive and active devices, was found within the housing schemes. Technologies such as wearable devices were reportedly used according to need, and mobile phone use was widely adopted. The themes that developed out of the tenant interviews were: Attitudes and Engagement with Technology; Technology Enhancing Tenants Sense of Security; Seeking Support and Digital Literacy; and Technology Enabled Connection. A lack of awareness about living alongside technology was a major finding. Technologies enabled a sense of reassurance and facilitated connections with the wider community. The interaction with technology presented challenges, for example, remembering passwords, access to Wi-Fi and the identification of its use in an emergency. The caregiver survey reported a range of facilitators and barriers for the use of technology within care. Both types of caregivers held relatively similar views around the benefits of technology, however their views on issues such as privacy and consent varied. Safety was considered more important than right to privacy by family caregivers.

Conclusions
The present study provides new insight into stakeholder’s experiences of living, working and caregiving alongside technology in supported living environments. As the generation of people living with dementia become more tech savvy, harnessing everyday technologies to support care could enable holistic care and support the transition through the care continuum. Advance care planning and technology assessments are at the very core of future technology provision. It is evident that a paternalistic attitudes towards technology use could impact the multitude of benefits technology can play in both health and leisure for people living with dementia and their caregivers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14)
The funding body had no role in the the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript.

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14).

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14).

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14).

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the wider research team that worked within the TESA-DRI Project. We are grateful to our peer-researchers for their time and commitment to the TESA-DRI project. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Public Health Agency and Atlantic Philanthropies (COM/4955/14).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • dementia care
  • Assistive Technology
  • Peer Research
  • Supported Living
  • Monitoring Technology
  • Caregivers
  • Supported living
  • Assistive technology
  • Monitoring technology

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