Effectiveness of a co-designed technology package on perceptions of safety in community-dwelling older adults

Susan Gordon, Fiona Telford-Sharp, William Crowe, Stephanie Champion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Increasing numbers of older people are living longer, often alone, in their own homes. Services and products that enable older people to remain safely in their own homes are required. The My Smart Home project recruited 30 community-dwelling people aged 65+ to co-design a package of technology to address their individual goals for safety and security at home. The technology package, up to the value of $4000, included installation of health monitoring, communication and entertainment devices, and security alarms, with 6 hours of technology coaching. Methods: Participants completed the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), the Australian Quality of Life-8 Dimensions (AQoL-8D) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) at baseline, and after 4 weeks' use of the technology package. Semi-structured interviews were also used to qualitatively understand the challenges, enablers and outcomes of the project with respect to safety and security in the home. Results: Significant improvements in PWI (p < 0.01), AQoL-8D (p < 0.000) and COPM for goal performance (p < 0.000) and goal satisfaction (p < 0.000) were reported. Participants also reported feeling safer and more secure in their own homes. Common barriers to adoption of technology, cost, integration with already-owned technology and lack of confidence were overcome with this technology and coaching package. Conclusions: An individualised package of technology, with coaching, that supports older people to realise their personal goals with technology resulted in improved well-being, quality of life and sense of safety and security in community-dwelling older people. Ultimately, this should support a longer and better quality of life at home.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Early online date30 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2022

Keywords

  • ageing in place
  • assistive technology
  • healthy ageing
  • independent living

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