Implementing technology in a care at-home service

Project Background

This IMPACT project focused on the implementation of technology in care at home services. It was based in Baillieston Community Care, Glasgow, alongside Scottish Care’s Care Technologist role.

The partnership allowed IMPACT to explore: what people accessing care at home wanted from technology, any barriers that were experienced. It enabled the organisation to consider the long-term viability of a specialist role within their care at home staff team.

The role of the Care Technologist (Scottish Care) was to visit services and homes to get to know people accessing care and create digital care plans to help them live well. The IMPACT Facilitator worked alongside this role. 

Elderly woman completing puzzle with younger woman. IMPACT Faciltiator Logo and voice assistant logo overlayed on the image.

Pre-project Evidence on Technology in Care at Home

A review of evidence gathered by the Facilitator highlighted several barriers to the implementation of technology. This included a lack of large-scale evidence on outcomes and cost-effectiveness of technology in care at home. Additional barriers highlighted were the potential for lack of confidence among people accessing support, stigma attached to some technology designed for older people and challenges due to the progressive nature of dementia when introducing new technology. Alongside this were several ways in which use of technology had led to positive outcomes such as improved quality of life and increased independence.

Evidence suggested that some older people chose to individualise technology rather than using specific devices that had been designed for the older demographic, consistent with the view that this was stigmatising.

An example was working with accessibility features on a mobile phone rather rather than using specific technology for older people (such as, ‘simplified’ phones with larger buttons and fewer applications).

Facilitator Engagement

The role of the Facilitator was to aid the implementation of evidence into practice and understand how technology was used in the homes of individuals using Baillieston care at home service.  This was achieved by talking to staff, people accessing care at home, and wider stakeholders. Some participated in interviews and focus groups, whilst others engaged with online surveys. The Facilitator developed case studies based on evidence gathered locally about experiences of using technology in the home.

Implementing technology in a care-at-home service (Video)

What worked well

  • Collaboration with Care Technologist and an individualised approach​
  • Case study approach ​
  • Dedicated contact for technology glitches and information/evidence​
  • Choice over type of technology

Barriers identified

  • Lack of existing evidence for the use of technology generally and specific types of technology​
  • Staff time
  • Evidence sharing/ collaboration within the project​
  • Financial sustainability​
  • Choice – some did not want to engage especially if their device did not work/was not easy to work​

Project Outcomes

As a result of the local theory of change project, Baillieston Community Care was supported with the following:

  • Increased awareness of technology among staff and individuals receiving care at home service​
  • New material developed by Baillieston such as a technology catalogue​ detailing the range of options available
  • Audit of staff training with a view to developing Digital Champions​ in the service
  • Greater awareness of the complexity of introducing and maintaining technology
  • Awareness of what helps and hinders the use of technology​ on a day-to-day basis

Technology in Care Reflections