Which activities threaten independent living of elderly when becoming problematic: inspiration for meaningful service robot functionality

S. Bedaf, G.J. Gelderblom, D.S. Syrdal, H. Lehmann, H. Michel, D. Hewson, F. Amirabdollahian, K. Dautenhahn, L. de Witte

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In light of the increasing elderly population and the growing demand for home care, the potential of robot support is given increasing attention. In this paper, an inventory of activities was made that threaten independent living of elderly when becoming problematic. Results will guide the further development of an existing service robot, the Care-O-bot?.A systematic literature search of PubMed was performed, focused on the risk factors for institutionalization. Additionally, focus group sessions were conducted in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and France. In these focus group sessions, problematic activities threatening the independence of elderly people were discussed. Three separate target groups were included in the focus group sessions: (1) elderly persons (n?=?41), (2) formal caregivers (n?=?40) and (3) informal caregivers (n?=?32).Activities within the International Classification of Functioning domains mobility, self-care, and interpersonal interaction and relationships were found to be the most problematic.A distinct set of daily activities was identified that may threaten independent living, but no single activity could be selected as the main activity causing a loss of independence as it is often a combination of problematic activities that is person-specific. Supporting the problematic activities need not involve a robotic solution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-452
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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