Family caregiver readiness to adopt smart home technology to monitor care—dependent older adults: A qualitative exploratory study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Advanced Nursing




School of Nursing and Midwifery




Edith Cowan University


Dermody, G., Fritz, R., Glass, C., Dunham, M., & Whitehead, L. (2023). Family caregiver readiness to adopt smart home technology to monitor care—dependent older adults: A qualitative exploratory study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 80(2), 628-643.


Aims: The aim of this study was to explore factors that influence family caregiver readiness to adopt health smart home technology for their care-dependent older adult family member. Health smart homes are designed to remotely monitor the health and wellness of community-dwelling older adults supporting independent living for as long as possible. Accordingly, if the health smart home is deployed into the home of a care-depended older adult, it can potentially support family caregivers by facilitating workforce participation and give piece of mind to the family caregiver who may not live close to the older adult. However, wider adoption of health smart home technologies into the homes of community-older adults is low, and little is known about the factors that influence the readiness of family caregivers to adopt smart home technologies for their care-dependent older adults. Design: A qualitative Descriptive study design was utilized. Methods: Qualitative data were collected between 2019 and 2020 via semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of interviews was completed, and data were organized into themes. Results: Study findings show that caregiver readiness (N = 10) to adopt smart home technology to monitor older adult family members were influenced by five primary themes including a ‘big brother effect’, ‘framing for acceptance’, ‘data privacy’, ‘burden’ and ‘cost.’. Conclusion: Family caregivers were open to adopting smart home technology to support the independent living of their older adult family members. However, the readiness of family caregivers was inextricably linked to the older adults' readiness for smart home adoption. The family caregiver's primary concern was on how they could frame the idea of the smart home to overcome what they viewed as hesitancy to adopt in the older adult. The findings suggest that family caregivers endeavour to balance the hesitancy in their older adult family members with the potential benefits of smart home technology. Impact: Family caregivers could benefit if their care-dependent older adults adopt smart home technology. Recognizing the role of caregivers and their perspectives on using smart home technologies with their care-dependents is critical to the meaningful design, use and adoption.



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