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Carers and new technology

ResearcherLee

Registered User
Researchers at the University of Warwick are interested in carers' experiences and views of new technology, including use of the internet. At present, we are interviewing carers of people with dementia who live in Coventry and Warwickshire. If you are a family or friend carer living in this area, we would very much like to hear from you - details are on the project website at www.warwick.ac.uk/go/carers. Results will be presented at workshops with carers and health workers, technologists, and policy makers, and also published on the project website early next year (2008).
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
I live in Australia so I'm (just a little!) outside your target area!
However I have 2 comments to make.

The first is, that as a Carer, the internet has given me (through TP) a place to find the support that I could never have found elsewhere. Right here in my own home, at any hour (24/7), I can access others who know what the caring role is like and what it involves. I simply cannot imagine how much more difficult my life would be without TP.

Secondly, my Mum (as with most dementia sufferers) lost any ability to learn new things quite early in her illness - before diagnosis. There are all sorts of "technological devices" that are offered as helpful for people with dementia, but unless the person had mastered their use before falling ill, they are of little or no use. Some TPers have actually found they make matters worse in certain circumstances.

I wish you every success with your project.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I might have been in your target area until my mother died a month ago. She was in Bedworth (just outside Coventry). However, like a lot of people I didn't live in the same area as my mother (I'm further away than most, but carers living away from carees aren't uncommon). So you might want to clarify whether you are only interested in talking to carers of local dementia sufferers or local carers of any dementia sufferers (even if the dementia sufferer lives outside your catchment area). Hopefully the latter: I think distance carers make (or attempt to make) more use of technological solutions than others. I say attempt to make, because as Nell has mentioned, while the internet is a godsend, the sort of technological solutions that are promoted such as alert systems, caused me no end of trouble, and my mother no end of distress (disembodied voices are NOT a good thing for a dementia suffer, and if there's a wrong button to press, press it they will).

Good luck with the project: I really think because of these sort of problems there needs to be empirical evidence about what does and does not work in these situations: most of these products are marketed and promoted by people who have little or no real world experience, at least on a 24/7 basis.