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The contribution of healthcare smart homes to older peoples' wellbeing: a new conceptual framework

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Abstract

Healthcare smart homes (HSH) are promoted as a possible solution in response to demographic ageing. They encourage ageing-in-place by enabling residents to remain in their own homes by utilising smart technologies to allow safe and independent living. However, the degree to which they currently encourage relational wellbeing of residents and their wider networks is novel. This critical narrative review provides a theoretical contribution to the growing body of social science literature around the impacts of HSH living. It highlights the potential links between HSH living and impacts on relational wellbeing of residents and wider networks. Arguing that existing HSH literature has often focused on single technology devices and the perceived benefits of HSH living by technology and home developers, rather than lived experiences of HSH residents, it presents a new conceptual framework, around which HSH should be promoted, focussing on individual residents and their caring networks, rather than technological possibilities. Specifically, the new framework highlights the importance of HSH resident wellbeing which we suggest may be maintained and enhanced through ensuring a sense of home, relational rather than independent living, accounting for potential spatial inequalities and the importance of appropriate use of language. This paper aims to generate discussion around better understandings of what it means to live with healthcare technologies at home, and how these may act to (dis)empower those wishing to age-in-place or otherwise.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number100031
Number of pages8
JournalWellbeing, Space and Society
Volume2
Early online date5 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Ageing-in-place, Healthcare smart homes, Older people, Caring networks, Wellbeing

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