An ethnography of the everyday practices of people with dementia and their informal carers with assistive technologies and telecare in community-based care

Lariviere, Matthew (2018) An ethnography of the everyday practices of people with dementia and their informal carers with assistive technologies and telecare in community-based care. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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    Abstract

    Industry, government and care service providers claim that assistive technologies and telecare services will enable people with dementia to continue living independently and safely in their communities. Yet there is little research that examines how people with dementia actually use these technologies in their everyday life. This thesis presents an ethnographic study, A Collaborative COMMunity-based ethnography of people with Dementia using Assistive technology and Telecare at home in England (ACCOMMODATE). This ethnographic study examines everyday practices of people with dementia and their informal carers using assistive technologies and telecare.

    The study design departs from conventional ethnographic approaches which rely on situated, immersive, and sustained fieldwork commitments. Instead, this study purposively sampled participants from a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial entitled Assistive Technology and Telecare to maintain Independent Living At home for people with dementia (ATTILA). ACCOMMODATE, therefore, draws on recent methodological insights to design an ‘embedded ethnography’ to address the research problem.

    Embedding ethnographic activities within the ATTILA trial settings influenced how I initially conceptualised assistive technologies and telecare in dementia care in the community as part of technology-enabled dementia care services. Yet this ‘imagined community care’ de-contextualised the personal experiences of living with memory problems, care practices, and community-based relationships. Through partially disembedding my ethnographic activities from ATTILA, I re-framed these concepts to illustrate tensions about how different people understood care, inhabited spaces within their home, and enacted new technological practices. Such diverse practices and understandings from participants suggests ‘assistiveness’ and ‘care at a distance’ can be seen as actively co-constructed to fit within the complexities of everyday practices.

    Future policies should more precisely distinguish ‘imagined’ goals, such as ‘community care’, from the reality which people with dementia experience with assistive technologies as ‘home care’. Such a shift may better locate and articulate the current practices constituting technology-enabled dementia care.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
    Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
    Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2018 10:20
    Last Modified: 28 Nov 2018 10:20
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69056
    DOI:

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