Improving the provision of information about assistive technology for older people

Claudine McCreadie (Institute of Gerontology, King's College London)
Fay Wright (Institute of Gerontology, King's College London)
Anthea Tinker (College Research Ethics Committee)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Publication date: 1 June 2006


The importance of assistive technology (AT) in helping older people maintain independence is increasingly recognised in policy. The article reports on a modest piece of research, funded by the Helen Hamlyn Foundation, that looked at an important corollary of this development — the provision of relevant and appropriate information about AT. The research involved mapping both AT and information sources, focus groups with 28 users aged 75 and over and 12 carers, interviews with 40 professionals and information providers and a postal questionnaire to 131 care home managers (response rate of 45%). The findings point to the large volume of available information, but suggest that there are problems in identifying needs and in accessing all necessary information. Professionals share these problems and organisational issues impact on professional capacity to provide satisfactory information. The situation in care homes appears ambiguous in terms of responsibility for AT provision for residents and hence for information. The researchers concluded that there is considerable scope for improving both access to information and the design of that information. They also concluded that there are terminology issues that need addressing in further research.



McCreadie, C., Wright, F. and Tinker, A. (2006), "Improving the provision of information about assistive technology for older people", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 13-22.

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