The term assistive technology defines technological solutions which help to provide support, encouragement, aid and independence (Topo, 2008). The adoption of assistive technologies (AT) potentially allows those living with a disability to succeed independently in performing daily tasks, which would otherwise require the assistance of another person (O’Neill et al., 2014). The implementation of the Technology Related Assistance Act (1998) by the United States has undoubtedly delivered targeted legalisation and encouragement to both the acquirement and development of assistive technologies (Forgrave, 2002), however the United States are the only nation to implement legislation relating to the procurement and enhancement of assistive technologies (Fastuk.org, 2014). Assistive technologies combine a variety of intricate technological components and basic elements, for example hearing aids and automatic doors, but these technologies are designed primarily to provide fundamental assistance in both domestic and communal locations. The purpose of this assignment is to focus upon user acceptance of assistive technologies by dementia patients.
830,000 people in the United Kingdom are living with Dementia, with the average patient requiring £27,647 per year for treatment and assistance, the overall cost of dementia patients within the United Kingdom is a staggering £23 billion a year (Alzheimersresearchuk.org, 2014). The development of “reminding technology” (O’Neill et al., 2014, p.169) is considered to be a fundamental benefit for patients with dementia, as through the delivery of frequent prompts it allows patients to complete tasks independently and primarily improve the quality of life (Mulvenna and Nugent, 2010); however there are obstacles surrounding user acceptance (Orpwood et al., 2005; O’Neill et al., 2014). The age and technological ability of dementia patients is continually highlighted within existing literature, as an impending obstacle to user acceptance along with other potential components (Topo, 2008; Brittain et al., 2010; Boger et al., 2014). Therefore as a consequence, the research objective of this paper is to contribute to the analysis of assistive technology in relation to dementia and user acceptance, through the application of a theoretical framework.