The desire to maintain an independent lifestyle is one shared by an increasing number of older adults. Adult children, spouses, siblings, and other relatives, also known as family caregivers, play an integral role in helping their loved ones maintain independence. Remote monitoring technologies (RMTs) such as wearable sensors, mobile emergency devices, smartphone apps, and webcams can be used to monitor, sense, record, and communicate a person’s daily activities. However, understanding is limited of the family caregiver’s needs and perceptions of RMTs used in a home-based setting. The purpose was to explore how family caregivers perceive RMTs and their use for monitoring and supporting their care recipients who choose to live independently. We used a survey to capture some basic characteristics of family caregivers, what they know about RMTs, and to recruit interview participants. We conducted semi-structured interviews with four participants who shared the commonality of caring for a relative with dementia. We reported the survey data using descriptive statistics and we applied interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to analyze and report results from the interviews. Four themes emerged including the unique relationships that exist in family care, the risk-benefit conundrum that accompanies benefits and tradeoffs of RMT use, human-technology interaction and usability, and the importance of creating tailored solutions to facilitate RMT adoption and use. Our findings provide insight into factors impacting adoption and use.
Remote Monitoring Technology, Family Caregivers, Aging, Dementia, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Funding provided from Nova Southeastern University's President's Faculty Research & Development Grant 2018
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Recommended APA Citation
Snyder, M., Dringus, L., Maitland Schladen, M., Chenail, R., & Oviawe, E. (2020). Remote Monitoring Technologies in Dementia Care: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Family Caregivers’ Experiences. The Qualitative Report, 25(5), 1233-1252. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol25/iss5/5