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Karlsen C, Ludvigsen MS, Moe CE, et al. Experiences of community-dwelling older adults with the use of telecare in home care services: A qualitative systematic review JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. 2017;15(12):2913-2980.
• Do older adults using home-care services find telecare useful for healthy aging?
• Home care can help older adults manage their health conditions and maintain independence, but it isn’t always able to address all of an individual’s needs.
• Telecare, which involves using technological devices to improve safety and the functionality of patients living at home by complementing what is provided through home care, is a promising solution to promote independence.
• However, there is a poor understanding of whether patients find using telecare useful in their daily lives.
• A detailed search of a number of electronic databases for studies published from 2005 up to and including June 2017 was conducted. Studies that focused on older adults using telecare for home-care service globally were included in the review.
• A total of 1,732 studies were identified in searches, and 21 were included in the review after assessments for eligibility.
• This review was funded by the Norwegian Science Foundation, Kvinesdal Municipality, and the health network in Lister and Lindesnes region.
• The review found that many older adults think telecare can contribute to their safety and security, while supporting them to maintain their health, however, they wanted more say in how it was used.
• Many older adults may think telecare technology is difficult to use properly, and that some types (such as alarms for those who are hearing impaired) are inappropriate for them.
• Older adults may have a concern that telecare technology could promote a negative image of aging, and portray older individuals as being frail, helpless and needing support.
• This review found that telecare is positively received by older adults who view it as a way to improve safety at home. However, many older adults may believe that the technology is difficult to use and inappropriately prescribed. Given patient opinions about telecare are likely diverse, researchers suggest considering individuals’ needs and involving them in decisions about whether to use telecare.