This scoping review of the evidence by the University of Stirling forms part of the resources being published by Stonewater Housing Association’s INVITE project - Promoting INclusive liVing vIa Technology-Enabled support Project - into how technology has enormous potential to support quality of life for older people, including those with age-related conditions such as dementia.
Released to coincide with Dementia Action Week, the report reveals that involvement and co-production is relatively limited, and many studies go no further than the design stage for new pieces of technology. Nevertheless, there are useful points of learning from research which examines how older people engage with and use different forms of technology in their homes. In particular, it recognises the ways in which technology has to be continually adapted to fit everyday life is crucial in order to understand how we can most effectively work with older people to explore new possibilities – from designing technology, to planning services and putting technology in place.
The report makes a number of important recommendations clustered around the following themes:
- Identifying the desires, needs and capacity of residents, including the coproduction of technology
- Identifying and introducing possible technology options, including any support required, and
- Using, adapting and continuing to use technology to benefit users of services as well as any workforce
Focusing on the learning from these key areas at each stage of the process, it explains, should improve the chances of implementing the right technology, in the right way, to meet the desires and needs of older people, as well as delivering benefits.