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      Introducing assistive technology into the existing homes of older people: feasibility, acceptability, costs and outcomes.

      Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

      Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Attitude to Health, Disabled Persons, psychology, Equipment Design, Health Care Costs, Housing for the Elderly, standards, Humans, Self-Help Devices, economics

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          We examined how far, and at what cost, the housing stock could be modified to accommodate the assistive technology (AT) necessary to enable older people to remain in their own homes. A multidisciplinary team devised seven hypothetical user profiles for 10 case study areas, with five local authorities and five housing associations in England and Wales. Each profile was considered at two times, five years apart, with the users' functional abilities deteriorating in between. In addition, in-depth interviews were carried out with a sample of 67 older people in the case study areas about their use and experience of a wide range of AT. The interviews showed the need to listen to older people and that they welcomed AT when it addressed a perceived need. The results showed that the extent of adaptation required of buildings to accommodate a user's needs varied greatly. It was also found that there was confusion about the terminology of AT, including the idea of the 'smart house'. The study shows that the adaptability of the housing depends on a range of factors and costs.

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