• telecare;
  • telemonitoring;
  • ethics;
  • user perspectives;
  • informal carers;
  • care of the elderly


Telecare is often regarded as a win/win solution to the growing problem of meeting the care needs of an ageing population. In this paper we call attention to some of the ways in which telecare is not a win/win solution but rather aggravates many of the long-standing ethical tensions that surround the care of the elderly. It may reduce the call on carers' time and energy by automating some aspects of care, particularly daily monitoring. This can release carers for other caring activities. On the other hand, remote and impersonal monitoring seems to fall short of providing care. Monitoring may be used to help elderly users retain independence. But it may also increase the amount of information which flows from users to carers, which can result in a form of function-creep that actually undermines independence.