People with dementia reporting new difficulties using Commonplace technologies that most people would agree are widely available in homes and society. e.g. Microwave, television, ATM, ticket machine, elevator/lift, smartphone etc. should be offered a comprehensive assessment by an occupational therapist. While everyday technology can be assistive to everyday activities, in some cases, a pattern of detechnologising indicates instability in the person’s wider pattern of participation and may indicate a need for support, or change in housing situation.
Explanation and Examples
Everyday life, including outside home, more and more involves the use of Commonplace technologies that most people would agree are widely available in homes and society. e.g. Microwave, television, ATM, ticket machine, elevator/lift, smartphone etc. (mobiles, smartphones, ATMs, transport ticket machines etc), which could even influence the places that people go to. A cross-sectional, quantitative study with 128 older adults with and without dementia in England was conducted using the Everyday Technology Use Questionnaire and the Participation in Places and Activities Outside Home questionnaire.
Results of statistical analyses confirmed that for some people; going to a lower amount of places was related to perceiving a lower amount of technologies relevant in daily life and living in a relatively more deprived area. A subsequent case study was conducted with 13 rurally dwelling older adults from the same sample (using the same questionnaires with additional interview notes, observations, maps, subsequent relevant document collation i.e. mobile and internet network availability reports).
Findings highlighted a person could perceive detechnologising, particularly around the home and garden, as one of several signs of vulnerability when living alone rurally. Such vulnerability was then a sign of a need for support to make living at home more tenable, including to increase safety in the grounds surrounding home, or was a sign of a need to relocate.
ThemesActivities of daily living Assessment Everyday life Everyday technology Support
Target groupsClinicians Health care providers & patient organizations Housing providers Occupational therapy educators & organizations Social care providers
Type of evidence
Quantitative cross-sectional study with 128 UK-based participants, case study of 13 rurally dwelling older adults with mild dementia in England.
Wallcook, S., Nygård, L., Kottorp, A., Gaber, S. N., Charlesworth, G. & Malinowsky, C. (submitted) Kaleidoscopic associations between life outside home and the technological environment that shape occupational injustice – revealed with cross-sectional statistical modelling
Wallcook, S. (2021) Conditions of Everyday Technology Use and its Interplay in the Lives of Older Adults with and without Dementia. (PhD thesis) Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. https://openarchive.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/47651