Author: Murray, Kaitlin
There is scarce research on the importance of Assistive devices and technologies (ATDs) in supporting residents' functioning and staff care practices in Long Term Care (LTC) settings. Much of the present literature focuses on how ATDs can promote independence and support older adults to age in their homes. Though LTC facilities provide personal assistance to residents, fostering their autonomy should not be overlooked. ATDs can lead to benefits for both residents and staff when implemented adequately. This literature review addressed a gap in the literature by considering the implementation of ATDs for older adults living in institutional settings and the facilitators, barriers, and other relevant contributors to the implementation of ATDs in LTC. The aim of this study was to conduct a literature review of the use of ATDs in LTC, and synthesize the evidence on how they can promote resident autonomy, independence, and self-efficacy, while providing relief for staff. A narrative review of older adults use of ATDs was conducted across AgeLine, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and CINAHL. Thirty four peer-reviewed articles met inclusion criteria. Five themes were identified: types of assistive devices, benefits of assistive devices, barriers and facilitators to ATD implementation, and the substitution of personal assistance for ATDs. The findings revealed that while ATDs may not eliminate the need for personal assistance, they can allow older adults to exercise their autonomy, and provide caregiver relief and reduce burden. Future research should look further at the interconnectedness of residents and staff in ATD implementation, and the psychosocial impacts of ATD implementation in LTC.
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Thesis advisor: Chaudhury, Habib
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