This blog was contributed by Dave Wright, Age UK’s Research Assistant.
Age UK has been working with Universities of Sheffield, St Andrews and Reading on a project called Challenging Obstacles and Barriers to Assistive Living Technologies (COBALT), to understand why the adoption of assisted living technology by older people is so low. These technologies can be anything from pendant emergency alarms to blood pressure monitors and electric wheelchairs.
The usual explanation is that older people just won’t use technology. However, this research project has gathered data from older people, health and social care professionals, and commissioners and come to different conclusions.
The study found that despite a wealth of information on inclusive design, some assistive living technology is still poorly designed and packaged with instructions that make them very hard to use. We have tried it on a range of people and found this applies to everyone, not just older people. So given good design, older people welcome technology provided they can see it will help them live their lives the way they want. Continue reading