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GPS-Tracking Devices in Dementia Care: New Tasks, Responsibilities and Competencies

Abstract

This paper addresses the use of GPS-tracking devices in dementia care in a Norwegian context. The paper is based on empirical data drawn from two sources: the “EFORTT” project and the ongoing “Safe Tracks” research project. The results show that the use of GPS-tracking has important implications for the actors involved. Both the persons with dementia and family carers report on improved safety and increased independence. These findings are in accordance with the expectations expressed in current policy documents, which opens up for increased use of GPS and other telecare technologies in a dementia care setting. The focus of this paper is on the key role of family carers in relation to the implementation of the GPS-tracking device. The research findings show that in order to make the new technologies work, family carers are assigned new tasks and responsibilities. The critical issue raised in this paper is that many family carers do not have the necessary capacity, skills and competencies needed in order to take on these tasks. And in addition, not all persons suffering from dementia have someone to do the tasks for them. In this is the acknowledgement that the introduction of GPS-tracking devices in dementia care is not a trivial matter, which calls for a more nuanced understanding of the challenges posed by the introduction of new technologies to dementia care.

Category

Academic chapter/article/Conference paper

Client

  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 222069
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 204331

Language

English

Author(s)

Affiliation

  • VID Specialized University
  • SINTEF Digital / Health Research

Year

2013

Publisher

IOS Press

Book

Assistive Technology: From Research to Practice AAATE 2013

Issue

33

ISBN

978-1-61499-303-2

Page(s)

770 - 775

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