Using assistive technology services at differing levels of care: healthy older couples’ perceptions

Authors


C. Harrefors: e-mail: christina.harrefors@ltu.se

Abstract

harrefors c., axelsson k. & sävenstedt s. (2010) Using assistive technology services at differing levels of care: healthy older couples’ perceptions. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(7), 1523–1532.

Abstract

Title. Using assistive technology services at differing levels of care: healthy older couples’ perceptions.

Aim.  The aim of the study was to describe healthy older couples’ perceptions of using assistive technology services when needing assistance with care.

Background.  The use of information technology-based assistive technology services in elder care has increased as a result of an increase of care performed in private homes. The use of assistive technology services in care of older people at home has been evaluated as something positive by patients, relatives and nursing staff, while as resistance to their increased use has also been noted.

Method.  Twelve healthy couples, aged over 70 years, from northern Sweden were interviewed in 2005 about their perceptions of using assistive technology services in the case of being in need of assistance with personal care. Open, individual semi-structured interviews supported by written vignettes describing three levels of caring needs were used and the data analysed with content analysis.

Findings.  The findings were interpreted as one main theme with three categories: Asset or threat depends on caring needs and abilities. Three categories were identified within the theme: Assistive technology services provide an opportunity; The consequences of using assistive technology services are hard to anticipate; and Fear of assistive technology services when completely dependent on care.

Conclusion.  Trust and security in the care of older people who are severely ill, dependent on care and living at home should be a hallmark in using assistive technology services. Human presence is an important dimension and must be considered when developing concepts for use of assistive technology services.

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