Identifying requirements and features for communications systems between older people in care settings
GRIMSON, JANE BARCLAY
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Citation:Ronan McDonnell and Jane Grimson, Identifying requirements and features for communications systems between older people in care settings, The 23RD IEEE International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS 2010), Perth, WA, Australia, October 2010, IEEE, 2010
Care settings for older people, such as nursing homes, can have low levels of social interaction, which has been shown in many studies as being crucial to both the mental and physical well-being of older adults. Furthermore, increased social interaction has been shown to have a positive effect on adjustment in institutions for the aged. However, these social connections can be lost due to movement within the care system, with residents regularly relocating for a variety of reasons including cost and medical issues. Eleven health professionals and six residents living in a care home in Ireland were interviewed about their social activities and levels of engagement within the home. Storyboards were then developed and presented to the residents based on these interviews. Findings from the interviews indicate that activity levels among the more cognitively able residents are quite low due to activities catering for the less able residents. Furthermore, a lack of access to information and resources (such as books and newspapers) means that these more able residents reported experiencing long periods of boredom. Technology can potentially allow residents access to such information and resources, enabling them to pursue activities in their personal time which can then also be used as the basis for group discussions. The use of technology could, in addition, allow those residents who had moved out of the home to continue to participate and collaborate in activities with the other residents.
Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology