The majority of people with dementia prefer to live independently and safely in their own home cared for by their family members. Much effort has been invested in the development of technology, such as sensor‐based networks. Many challenges remain, in particular gaining more knowledge about their experiences and perceived benefits. This study aimed to explore experiences, needs and benefits with using sensor‐based technology for safety and independence in the homes of people with dementia and their family members.
This study is part of the TECH@HOME project, aiming to evaluate the effects of sensor‐based technology on independence among people with dementia and caregiver stress among their family members. This study applied an inductive, qualitative approach with semi‐structured interviews of people with dementia (n = 9) and family members (n = 21). The participants were interviewed between June and September 2018 after using the technology for at least 6 months. The interviews were analysed with manifest content analysis.
Our findings highlighted that technology was considered as a precaution and a safety measure that could provide a sense of having control of the everyday life of the person with dementia. Understanding and acceptance of the technology were as important, together with the reliability of the technology. Ethical dilemmas related to the monitoring of the person with dementia in the home were also raised.
This study provides insights into how people with dementia and family members experience and benefit from using sensor‐based technology in their own homes. The knowledge generated is essential for healthcare professionals and policymakers developing and implementing care and service systems including technology, as well as for the industry.