Background: This study explores how new technology can be used to support older adults to continue living independently at home. The objective is to design and evaluate the integration of a communication platform for the older adults, informal and formal carers with smart devices such as a GPS locator or movement sensors at home in order to support self-management, care planning and co-ordination, and communication across the circle of care. Methods: The project takes place in three European countries: UK (rural area), Portugal (semi-rural area), Belgium(rural area) and is a collaboration between a software developer, three end user organizations and an academic partner. A mixed method design was elaborated. First, the needs of older adults (N = 30), (older) informal caregivers (N = 21), and professional caregivers (N = 9) were captured in nine focus groups, to optimize the design of the IntegrAAL technology. Secondly, (1) the appreciation of the technology on the older adults is investigated and (2) the impact of this technology on their overall well-being. Participants are randomly assigned to an intervention group of 90 older adults and their network using the app with connected devices for 6 months and a control group of 35 older adults not using the technology for this period. The appreciation and impact of the intervention is evaluated by questionnaires conducted at four moments both in the intervention and control group. Results: The focus groups pointed out that ease of use is a primary concern of older adults: "the tools need to be designed for older adults, their competences and limitations need to be taken into account". Also, the communication between the older adults and their ‘circle of care’ could be improved. Conclusion: Currently, everything is ready to start the second phase of the study. We expect the first results in December 2016.
|Publication status||Published - 10 Feb 2017|