The goal of this project is to conduct an R21 sponsored pilot study over a two year period to investigate the feasibility of using sensor-based smart home technology as an intervention designed specifically to address informal caregivers' functional health concerns about their elderly relatives residing in independent living apartments. Whereas assisted living facilities provide a range of professional caregiving services, independent housing does not. The latter appeals to more low income diverse elders who cannot afford to pay for uncovered serves and prefer and/or rely more on informal caregivers. As research evidence grows demonstrating that the demands on elder family caregivers result in increased stress and negative health effects, interventions to mitigate these deleterious effects have been studied but none in independent housing. We propose to engage secondary caregivers, elders, building staff and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) through our Nursense system to help address primary caregivers concerns.
Our aims are to: 1) Determine the feasibility of adapting Nursense for usage in elderly housing through focus groups with informal primary and secondary caregivers, elderly residents, building staff and NPs 2) Develop desired features and test modifications 3) Conduct pilot intervention study in 10 units for four months to determine participants' responses. We will use qualitative methodology to gain understanding of the needs and wants of the participants as expressed in the pre and post intervention focus groups. Quantitative methods will be used to accomplish the secondary aims of making associations between the caregivers and elders' characteristics that are associated with the adoption and usage of the Nursense technology to: generate hypotheses for future testing, determine the most appropriate measures, and necessary sample size for formal outcome testing. This approach builds on our adoption of technology conceptual model to promote understanding of how technology can be tailored to meet caregivers' individualized needs. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Nursing Science: Adults and Older Adults Study Section (NSAA)
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Mann Koepke, Kathy M
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Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged
United States
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Mahoney, Diane Feeney (2010) An Evidence-Based Adoption of Technology Model for Remote Monitoring of Elders' Daily Activities. Ageing Int 36:66-81
Mahoney, Diane Feeney; Goc, Kimberly (2009) Tensions in Independent Living Facilities for Elders: A Model of Connected Disconnections. J Hous Elderly 23:166-184
Mahoney, Diane F; Purtilo, Ruth B; Webbe, Frank M et al. (2007) In-home monitoring of persons with dementia: ethical guidelines for technology research and development. Alzheimers Dement 3:217-26