Perspectives on telecare: the client view
Item TypeJournal Article
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We explored the attitudes and responses of older people to telecare technologies. Questionnaires were given to subjects in three locations: two day hospitals in Tayside (a region of north-east Scotland); five units of sheltered housing run by West Lothian local authority (in central Scotland); and five schemes of a private housing association across Tayside. There were 199 returned questionnaires (a 42% response rate). The sample was divided into two groups according to whether the subjects did agree or did not agree with the statement 'I would welcome technology that helps me to stay in my home even if it means losing some of the freedom and control I currently have'. 'Tele-receptive' individuals (n = 127) were found to be significantly more likely both to feel excited about new technology and to feel that their age was not a barrier to further learning. The present study suggests that individuals receptive to telecare will tend to be younger (under 80 years) and will be satisfied clients of current health services. They are likely to express a wish to stay at home for as long as possible, even when they would need a lot of help or have to pay for care. They are also keen to use an interactive mode of communication for both social interaction and medical consultation.