Connected Care aims to address three main challenges that care homes for people living with dementia currently face.
First, care homes are increasingly challenged by a rising number of people living with dementia and a simultaneous demand to improve quality of care amidst limited funding and staff shortages.
Second, although innovation is associated with better quality of care, there is limited research looking into the ways in which digital technology, including Internet of Things and sensors, could help care homes deliver better care for people with dementia.
Third, scholarly research has highlighted that top-down implementations of technology fail to deliver their potential benefits when there is limited user buy-in. In the context of care homes, care workers, residents and their families are often under-represented in technological developments.
Our inter-disciplinary project aims to address the above challenges by:
a) exploring together with care home staff, families/carers and people living with dementia what their collective needs and expectations are and
b) translating these demands, in collaboration with designers, into products that will be meaningful for users.
The project uses qualitative methods to enrich its understanding about the current challenges and needs of care home staff and people with dementia and their families. It also uses participatory approaches where all stakeholders meet in workshops to discuss their overlapping needs whilst shaping the questions and approach of our research.