Technology and Long-Term Care (TLC): A Pilot Evaluation of Remote Monitoring of EldersBy Reder, Sheri; Ambler, Gwen; Philipose, Matthai; Hedrick, Susan; Gerontechnology, Volume 9, Number 1, pages 18-31
Publication Date: Winter 2010
Pilot study explored how a new sensor technology for remote monitoring can support elders living at home. The body worn sensor technology, referred to as technology for long term care (TLC), consisted of a wireless bracelet, postage stamp sized Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, and matchbox sized, battery powered wireless shake sensors. Study participants were 12 seniors of the age of 55 years and their caregivers. Of the 12 caregivers, 6 were family members, and 6 were paid. The TLC was installed in the seniors’ homes. For 3 months, the sensors monitored four activities: meal preparation, physical activity, vitamin use, and personal care. Summary activity information was conveyed to the senior and the caregiver via wireless transmittance to a computer in the senior’s home. The study evaluated the use of and satisfaction with the technology, change in the seniors’ perceived safety and well being, change in seniors’ and family caregivers’ communication pattern, and change in family caregiver burden. All participants used the technology, would recommend it to others, and were generally satisfied with the technology. Participants used the technology as a passive alert system, a reminder for seniors to conduct daily activities, and as communication enhancement. Seniors reported an increase in their perceived safety, well being, peace of mind, and independence. Family caregivers also reported an increase in their peace of mind. An absence of privacy issues and good usability facilitated user satisfaction, while intermittent mechanical and software problems were identified as barriers. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: International Society for Gerontechnology (Website:http://www.gerontechnology.info)
International Society for Gerontechnology (Web Site: http://www.gerontechnology.info )
Link to text: http://gerontechnology.info/index.php/journal/article/view/gt.2010.09.01.002.00/1044