Accepted paper:

Telecare and factors influencing the "window of opportunity": The example of GPS tracking in dementia care


Hilde Thygesen (VID Scientific University)
Ingunn Moser (Diakonhjemmet University College)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

During the past decade and also today, telecare is a hot welfare-political issue in Norway, as in many other countries worldwide. Telecare technologies come with a range of promises of more labour- and costefficient health and care services, and is in this way seen to meet the challenges of the ageing of society. In Norway a State financed plan for large scale telecare implementation is currently in progress. According to this plan ¾ of all Norwegian municipalities will have implemented telecare technologies in elderly care by 2020. GPS tracking devices in dementia care is one of the telecare solutions to be implemented. The use of telecare technologies is expected to make it possble for the elderly, including persons suffering from dementia, to be able to live at home for longer, as the added technology will provide the necessary safety and security. In this the telecare implementation will lead to a 'win-win' situation, according to the proposed plan, as living at home will enable a more active lifestyle in accordance with own needs. However, empirical studies of GPS-tracking practices in dementia care show that the 'window of opportuntity' for persons suffering from dementia to make use of GPS tracking varies considerably. In some instances, the GPS is only useful for some weeks. This raises a number of questions and issues related to the current telecare hype and the unrealistic expectations related to the benefits of telecare implementation. In this paper I will address explore different factors influencing this 'window of opportunity.'

panel D1
Technologies of care and participation: Shifting the distribution of expertise and responsibilities