Aim: The study aims to investigate the caregivers' context-specific perceived usefulness of available assistive technology (AT) devices and the professionals' perspectives on the usefulness indicators of AT devices for home-dwelling individuals with mild-to-moderate dementia. Methods: A total of 72 caregivers completed a questionnaire rating 82 AT devices with a high-perceived usefulness (HPU) or low-perceived usefulness (LPU). A total of 21 experts rated 10 usefulness indicators of these devices. We compared the mean of each indicator between the HPU and LPU groups. Results: Most caregivers, who are generally amenable to using AT devices, thought they were useful for helping to care for home-dwelling older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia. The level of perceived usefulness from the experts' perspectives depends on specific design indicators (e.g. familiarity) and the context in which the AT is used (e.g. in everyday life or in emergencies). Indicators for HPU devices were: allows selective accident prevention, has an intuitive interface, is familiar, offers ease of use and simplifies activities. LPU devices featured client prompting. There were no significant differences between HPU and LPU devices with indicators of: is automated, informs caregiver, preserves privacy and preserves autonomy. Safety issues were considered important, and sometimes overshadowed ethical dilemmas, such as privacy and autonomy concern. Conclusions: The present study provides insight into how caregivers perceived the usefulness of AT devices, and how that varied with context. Indicators of devices perceived as useful can serve as guidelines for modifying existing devices and designing new devices. Future application could also incorporate the points of view from the persons with dementia. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2015; 15: 1049-1057.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Geriatrics and Gerontology