Background: British government policy for older people focuses on a vision of active ageing and independent living. In the face of diminishing personal capacities, the use of appropriate home-based technology (HBT) devices could potentially meet a wide range of needs and consequently improve many aspects of older people's quality of life such as physical health, psychosocial well-being, social relationships, and their physical or living environment. This study aimed to examine the use of HBT devices and the correlation between use of such devices and quality of life among older people living in extra-care housing (ECH).
Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered for this study. Using purposive sampling 160 older people living in extra-care housing schemes were selected from 23 schemes in England. A face-to-face interview was conducted in each participant's living unit. In order to measure quality of life, the SEIQoL-Adapted and CASP-19 were used.
Results: Although most basic appliances and emergency call systems were used in the living units, communally provided facilities such as personal computers, washing machines, and assisted bathing equipment in the schemes were not well utilised. Multiple regression analysis adjusted for confounders including age, sex, marital status, living arrangement and mobility use indicated a coefficient of 1.17 with 95% CI (0.05, 2.29) and p = 0.04 [SEIQoL-Adapted] and 2.83 with 95% CI (1.17, 4.50) and p = 0.001 [CASP-19].
Conclusions: The findings of the present study will be value to those who are developing new form of specialised housing for older people with functional limitations and, in particular, guiding investments in technological aids. The results of the present study also indicate that the home is an essential site for developing residential technologies.