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Making Telecare desirable rather than a last resort



Despite reported benefits of Telecare use for older adults, uptake of Telecare in the United Kingdom remains relatively low. Non-users of Telecare are an under-researched group in the Telecare field. We conducted 22 qualitative individual semi-structured interviews to explore the views and opinions of current non-users of Telecare regarding barriers and facilitators to its use, and explored considerations which may precede their decision to accept, or reject, Telecare. Framework analysis identified a number of themes which influence the outcome and timing of this decision, including peace of mind (for the individual and their family), the strength and composition of an individual's support network, the impact of changing personal and health circumstances, and lack of communication about Telecare (e.g. advertising). A cost–benefit decision process appears to take place for the potential user, whereby the benefit of peace of mind is weighed against perceived ‘costs’ of using Telecare. Telecare is often perceived as a last resort rather than a preventative measure. A number of barriers to Telecare use need to be addressed if individuals are to make fully informed decisions regarding their Telecare use, and to begin using Telecare at a time when it could provide them with optimal benefit. Although the study was set in England, the findings may be relevant for other countries where Telecare is used.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Lauren Powell, School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield, Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK E-mail:


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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
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