By any means? Questioning the link between gerontechnological innovation and older people's wish to live at home

Louis Neven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper investigates the ‘natural’ and strong link between the often expressed desire of older people to remain living in the own home and gerontechnological innovations as a dominant way of making this possible. Drawing on theories of representations of users, this paper analyses the development and test use of a telecare monitoring system for older people with severe health problems. It will show how the view of older people as people-who-want-to-live-at-home aligns actors, draws on the ageing-and-innovation discourse and is embedded in a normative discourse in which developing gerontechnologies to allow older people to continue living at home is positioned as “evidently the right thing to do.” Attention will subsequently turn to the effects of this system on the lives of its older users and will show that the monitoring system did allow older people to stay at home, but that its introduction introduced a passive age script and reconfigured the home on a physical, virtual and emotional level, seriously affecting the experience of being at home. Such reconfigurations are, however, rendered invisible as allowing older people to live at home is positioned as “evidently the right thing to do”, leaving little room for debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalTechnological forecasting and social change
Volume93
Early online date28 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Gerontechnology
  • Ageing
  • Innovation
  • User representation
  • Morality
  • n/a OA procedure

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