Rencontres Infirmières Trefpunt verpleegkunde edition:5 location:Brussel FOD volksgezondheid
In this study, we explore how new technology can be used to support older adults to continue living independently in their home. In the first phase of the study, the needs of older adults (N = 23), (older) informal caregivers (N = 12), and one professional or formal caregiver (N = 1) were questioned in focus groups. Ease of use seemed a primary concern: "the tools need to be designed for older adults, their competences and limitations need to be taken into account". Also, the communication between the older adults and their ‘circle of care’ (the network with formal and informal caregivers) could be improved according to the participants in the focus groups. In order to improve communication between older adults, informal caregivers and healthcare professionals, Nourish Care developed an app. Several devices such as a GPS watch, so the older adult can locate her/himself, a sensor for beverage bottles to track how much the older adult drinks, etc. can be linked with this app. In the second phase of the study, we will investigate (1) how the older adults appreciate using this new technology and (2) how the use of technology impacts their overall well-being. Older adults who wish to participate will be randomly assigned to two different conditions. In the experimental condition 90 older adults and their network will use the app with connected devices for 6 months. At the start of the study, after 6 weeks, after 3 months and at the end of the study the older adults and their ‘circle of care’ have to fill out a questionnaire about their experiences with the new technology and general well-being. General well-being is assessed with a short version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-Bref). In the control condition 35 older adults and their network will not use the app and connected devices but their general well-being is questioned at the same times. Currently, everything is prepared to start phase two. We are currently searching for participants. We expect the first results of our study in October 2016.