Assistive technology in the home and community for older people: Psychological and social considerations.

  • Gitlin L
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In this chapter, the author describes the role of assistive technology in the lives of older people living at home and the psychological and social considerations in assistive technology use. The snapshots of the lives of two older couples, including a 72 yr old husband with a double knee amputation and his 72 yr old wife with heart disease; a husband with dementia; and a 75 yr old woman with a hip fracture provide the background for the discussion. The chapter shows that the use of assistive technology supports seven important life domains, from physical functioning to higher order competencies, such as social and leisure engagement and continuation of a sense of personhood. As a preventive, rehabilitative, or long-term care strategy, assistive technology use may provide multiple benefits, including postponement of relocation or nursing home placement, ability to access cabinets and rooms, and a return to a sense of normalcy and personal comfort. A special consideration is the need to involve the potential user in the assessment process and derive assistive technology solutions that support the particular areas of difficulty identified by the potential assistive technology users themselves.

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  • Laura N. Gitlin

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