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Frail older people and their networks of support: how does telecare fit in?: AKTIVE Working paper 2

Author(s)

YEANDLE Sue

Publisher(s):

University of Leeds. Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equal

Publication year:

2014

This paper focuses on the different types and configurations of formal and informal support in place, alongside telecare, to assist frail older people, and on how having telecare in place affected, and was influenced by, these arrangements. Based on detailed research with older telecare users and people involved in their care, the paper defines and contrasts three ‘ideal types’ identified as: ‘complex’; ‘family- based’; and ‘privatised support’ caring networks. It considers how telecare interacted with each type of caring network and explores differences in the relevance and applicability of each to frail older people in the AKTIVE study. Focusing on older people living at home with different types of frailty, the AKTIVE project aimed both to enhance understanding of how they (and those supporting them) accessed, engaged with and used the telecare equipment supplied to them, and to explore the consequences for them of doing so. In this paper particular reference is made to differences between older people using telecare who lived alone or with others; and between those who had memory problems or were susceptible to falls. The paper shows how telecare enhanced all three types of network, in at least some examples in the study, although no network type was dependent, or solely reliant, upon it. This highlights that telecare is not a panacea, a substitute for human care or an adequate solution in and of itself. (Edited publisher abstract)


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