Family carers/next-of-kin perceptions of home-care technology: a review
David G Smithard1,2
1Royal Victoria Hospital, Kent Community Health NHS Trust, Folkestone, UK; 2Department of Electronics and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
Abstract: As the global population increases in age and the pressures on hospital resources increase, with a defined budget, the management of people in their own home environment is increasingly being accepted as a viable alternative to hospital admission. Evidence from the US and Australian health care systems has shown that acute care at home for older people is safe and the outcomes are at times better than when older people are admitted. Caring of people at home, particularly older people, puts an increased burden of expectation on the next of kin (family members); however, this burden appears to be offset by the reduction in the inconvenience that admission to hospital brings. In many cases, family members highlight the positives of home-based care, such as the convenience, increased contact, and in the case of people with long-term conditions, return of independence and socialization. However, we know little about the perceptions of family members to the ever-increasing possibilities of medically managing people at home, and future research needs to take this into account and to consider their views, as well as those of the people in receipt of care.
Keywords: telehealth, health care, acute care, hospital at home
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