A Good Death
As we reach the later stages of our lives, many of us wish to remain in our homes as long as possible.
SiDE researchers Angela Abbott and Ranald Richardson worked with health and social housing providers to investigate how digital technologies could be used to help people spend their later life at home, rather than in a hospital.
The project was jointly funded by SiDE and Newcastle Science City, and explored how people could take advantage of technologies or practices which could keep them in their homes, while maintaining the social and support networks necessary to stop them from becoming isolated. The researchers worked with social housing provider Home Group, as well as cancer care charities such as Macmillan and Marie Curie.
Digital technologies enable support staff to gather important information and keep in touch with patients, even when they are not in the same room. However, there are still reasons why face-to-face visits remain a valuable use of resources for support organisations. During the pilot study in Newcastle, support staff encountered barriers including a distrust of technology from some staff and patients, regulatory constraints around introducing technology to a patient’s home, and difficulties in obtaining internet connection in homes without their own broadband service.
While researchers see potential benefits in introducing technology into homes to monitor patients and maintain independence, they do not believe it should replace the face-to-face interaction provided by support staff.
Angela Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ranald Richardson (email@example.com)