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The hidden impact of home adaptations: Using a wearable camera to explore lived experiences and taken‐for‐granted behaviours

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Most adults over 65¬†years old live in mainstream housing in the United Kingdom, yet these can often be unsuitable for an individual's needs. With increased understanding of the relationship between housing, and health and well‐being, the importance of modifying the home to suit individuals is recognised as being paramount. However, it is often difficult to monitor the ways in which home adaptations and equipment are used in the home. This study used innovative wearable technology to explore everyday, lived experiences of using home adaptations and equipment. Six older adults who had received a major home adaptation in the last 24¬†months took part in this study. Each participant used a wearable camera for one day and participated in a semi‐structured interview while watching the images back as a ‘slideshow’. Using this novel approach, three themes were generated from the data: acquiring adaptations and equipment, adapting routine and changing behaviour, and inconsistent and unintended uses. The findings of this study open up the complexity of the lived experience of using home adaptations and equipment. Experiences from access to long‐term outcomes are personal, and individuals modify and use the adaptations in various ways to suit their own needs. The wearable camera allowed additional insight into lived experience that would otherwise not have been captured without its use, as the photographs acted as a way of stimulating conversation and highlighting taken‐for‐granted behaviours not often consciously considered by the individuals.
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Keywords: activities of daily living; home adaptation; integrated health and social care; lived experience; visual method; wearable camera

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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