Assistive Technologies for Healthy Living in Elders: Needs Assessment by Ethnography

ECSCW 2013 Masterclass - Co-producing assisted living technologies and services

In this master class, we develop and expand on themes concerning the challenges of understanding the assisted living needs of older people in domestic settings, and methods for involving them and their carers in the co-production of assisted living technologies and services. It has the overall objective of developing an understanding and appreciation of the benefits and the various practical issues involved in facilitating a bricolage approach to the dependable co-production of assisted living technologies.

Bricolage (pragmatic customisation, combining new with legacy devices) enables assisted living technologies to be personalised to individual needs, and allows users and informal carers to take the initiative in co-producing solutions. Bricolage also exposes that making assisted living work relies on collaboration, involving not only formal carers (health and social care professionals) but also informal ones (family members).

The master class will include comprehensive slides and a website where other relevant material will be hosted. It will build on our experiences and understanding gained from following a co-production approach with older people in the ATHENE project and will maintain a strong practical focus with an emphasis on active participation.

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand merits and limitations of different ways of engaging with older people and their carers, and exploring their assisted living technologies and service needs.
  • Analyse data gathered through user engagement activities and communicate results to stakeholders.
  • Understand limits of current assisted living technologies (co-)design approaches and how bricolage/co-production can overcome them.
  • Evaluate the role for bricolage/co-production within a given assisted living technologies application scenario
  • Select and apply design approaches to facilitate bricolage/co-production.
  • Tutorial preparation

    Click on the links below to see 2 short case studies of 'ageing in place' drawn from the ATHENE project fieldwork.

    1. Colin and Anne
    2. Thennan and Tisha

    Once you have read through them, consider what your answers would be to the following questions:

    1. Bearing in mind what matters to this person, how could their life be improved through an assisted living technology or service?

    2. What would be the issues/challenges in implementing one of these solutions; how would these be overcome?

    3. How might the technology or service be sustained and adapted over time?