The purpose of this study is to identify and validate the requirements for new technology supporting wellness, independence and social participation for older people domiciled in residential homes and/or assisted-living communities. Method:
This research adopts a stakeholder evaluation approach to requirements elicitation and user interface design. Specifically, the study design combines several qualitative human–machine interaction (HMI) design frameworks/methods, including realist ethnography, scenario-based design, persona-based design, and participatory design. Findings:
New technology should reflect positive values around ageing and link to psychosocial models of successful ageing, and biopsychosocial models of health and wellbeing. Resident autonomy, wellness and social participation cannot be conceptualized outside an understanding of the relationships older adults have with others. The design remit for this technology is to enable a resident experience that is similar to living at home. New technologies should facilitate wellness and communication/connection, and not simply risk assessment. New technology provides an opportunity to bridge existing information gaps between care planning, care assessments and daily care. Overall this technology needs to be intuitive and uphold the resident’s dignity and rights. Person-to-person interaction is central to care delivery. The introduction of new technology should enhance this interaction, and not threaten it. Conclusions:
Future assisted-living (AL) technology should be premised by biopsychosocial models of wellness and support relationships between older adults and members of the personal and professional community. New assisted-living technology affords the possibility for improved social relationships, enhanced wellbeing, better quality of care, and independence. Such technologies require careful consideration in relation to adapting to age/condition and managing issues pertaining to resident consent, privacy and human contact.
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