Digital Futures 2014, Annual Digital Economy All Hands Conference

Creativity and Connectivity: Co-design with Care Homes

Current trends within the landscape of social and residential care are enabling an emphasis on person centred care; an approach which aims to ‘see’ and care for patients as individuals rather than focusing on any illness or on abilities they may have lost. Using activity-monitoring devices such as accelerometers can further facilitate a care provider’s knowledge and understanding of an individual’s needs and physical capabilities. Unfortunately, despite the insight that can be garnered from such devices, they are rarely designed with older adults in mind. This application of technology can fail if the devices are perceived as ill fitting or unattractive by the wearers. Co-design, a method grounded in the understanding of the real life experiences of the people who use and need products or services is being used by researchers from the University of Dundee to create engaging and appropriate ways for care home resident’s to wear such devices. This paper reports on a set of co-design workshops with care home residents that highlight concurrent trends in design and participatory research and how these methods facilitate, not only, meaningful insights about individuals’ needs but also their personal nuances. Furthermore, this paper illustrates that co-design and shared making activity can enhance wellbeing by enabling understanding and the creation of new social dynamics.

Nevay, S. and Lim, C.S.C. 2014. Creativity and Connectivity: Co-design with Care Homes. Digital Economy All Hands Meeting 2014. London.