Organising technology-based processes with and for older people
It is commonly accepted that demographical changes in most high-income countries result in older people representing an increasingly higher proportion of the population. This demographic transition is often discussed as a challenge with a social impact.
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At the same time the ageing population is portrayed as the occasion for developing innovative care services. Politicians and public sectors officers increasingly point out technology, above all recent developments in information and communication technology, as crucial for succeeding in managing such a change and the notion of Assistive Technology (AT) is thus gaining popularity.
Different positions on how to conceptualize technology however lead to different understandings of how technology is introduced and used in various settings. Also, how different actors are included (or not) in designing technological solutions have an impact on how technologies are used in practice. There are thus several important issues to consider when developing knowledge about AT. In addition it could be argued that the introduction and use of technology for ageing to a larger extent than for other areas of technology depends on the work of a number of different actors (politicians, public sector employees, private entrepreneurs, care professionals, older people, relatives, lawyers, and so on) embodying different interests and conceiving of ageing in different ways. Compared to other areas of technology introduction and use, we are thus faced with an even more complex landscape in which ethical and political issues should be articulated.
These issues are related to the development and introduction of new technologies for and with older people are studied in collaboration with local actors and researchers from other disciplines at MDH in two different projects (see links) by combining ideas from Science and Technology Studies, Design research, and Organization theory.