Informing the design of assistive technology through the discovery of the social, moral, and care values important in LGBTIQ+ eldercare

Adam Poulsen, Ivan Skaines, Suzanne McLaren, Oliver Burmeister

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract


Technology which assists human care is becoming increasingly prevalent in aged care. However, little research has been conducted on how LGBTIQ+ elderly can best be assisted through technology. LGBTIQ+ elders experience heightened loneliness in aged care . Some claim they are being forbidden from disclosing their sexuality and in some cases are restricted from seeing other residents, and there are no consequences for aged care providers that are not inclusive. This mixed-methods study began with an interpretivist pilot, interviewing five elders about their experiences with loneliness and ageing, their needs and values in care and their views on how socially connective assistive technology might mitigate loneliness. The analysis of the pilot interviews will be used to inform the subsequent survey design, as well as further interviewing and focus group stages. Key values discovered in the pilot study included social connectivity, community, respect, equality, equity, companionship, LGBTIQ+ connectivity, gender identity-based activities, and appreciating difference. Understanding these values better will ensure that assistive technology provides good care, that is, care which is person-centred and value sensitive, like good, human-delivered care is. In this way, this study helps to lay the groundwork for LGBTIQ+ focused assistive healthcare technology design. Subsequent stages of this research will be further informed through the partnership Charles Sturt University researchers have with Newcastle Pride (NP) who will provide ground-truthing and assist with co-design. NP is an inclusive, vibrant, and fun not-for-profit LGBTIQ+ community-based organisation which aims to make Newcastle and the Hunter a safer, happier, healthier, and more culturally rich place for all those in the LGBTIQ+ community.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event4th National LGBT&I Ageing & Aged Care Conference - Novotel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 24 Oct 201925 Oct 2019 (program)


Conference4th National LGBT&I Ageing & Aged Care Conference
Abbreviated titleAgeing with pride: The new landscape of LGBT&I aging and aged care in Australia
Internet address


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