Chantal Berube, Jennifer Lamch, Lisa Trolley
Background: The integration of iPads and tablets has been growing within for-profit business, and now within NGO and not for profit, humanitarian organizations as well in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This research was conducted to aid in the integration of iPads /tablets at Richview Community Care Services, a community to help older adults age in place in Ontario Canada. Older adults aging in place and living in long term care facilities are becoming more isolated as the pandemic continues having negative impacts their physical, social, and mental health. This research and paper aims to identify how the different levels of governance at Richview Community Care Services, made up of Personal Support Workers, Administration Team, and Board of Directors, perceived any benefits and impacts through the integration of iPad and Tablet technology. Method: To understand if there is any resistance to iPad and tablet integration among individual groups or across the organization, a survey was provided to each member of the Richview Community Care Services community governance. The survey was duplicated across all levels to ensure responses were comparable. Responses were analyzed through a cross comparative analysis approach reviewing the similarities and differences amongst the three levels of governance and for any variances within members in each group to understand strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for recommendations of a successful integration. Conclusion: The results show minimal resistance among all tiers of governance to the integrate the use of iPads and Tablets in the care model for older adults with the exception of perception of willingness and ability of clients. This paper provides suggestions for a successful integration and further recommendations for education.
Richview Community Care Services Corporation (RCCSC) is a care-based program to help older adults age in place. A technology gap in client care was recognized at the organization and a solution to the isolating conditions brought on by the pandemic was needed. It is important to ensure that the older adults at RCCSC stay connected to their family, friends and stay on top of physical and cognitive health activities that have been reduced or ended due to the pandemic. The Humber student team worked with the organization to support the creation of the T.I.P. Program - Technology Integration for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and lead the initial research to identify resistance, acceptance, perceived benefits and impact of integrating technology in daily care with PSWs and clients.
To understand if there is any resistance to iPad and tablet integration amongst individual groups or across the organization, a survey was provided to each member of the Richview Community Care Services community governance. The survey was duplicated across all levels to ensure responses were comparable. Responses were analyzed through a cross comparative analysis approach reviewing the similarities and differences amongst the three levels of governance for any variances or similarities by members in each group to understand strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for recommendations of a successful integration.
Overall, results tended to lean towards the need for integration of technology in care. Understanding personal comfort levels amongst the governance at the organization was key to understanding any resistance and recommendations for moving the project forward. 89% of all respondents indicated that they were willing to learn about the use of technology and over 75% felt technology would be useful at the organization to reduce isolation and increase mental and physical abilities. Results varied based on what prevents older adults using technology. Board Members and admin staff tended to respond similarly, such at 100% believed that finances were the number one reason for not using technology, whereas only 29% of the PSWs agreed with that statement. Willingness to try was a similar response across the governance and the PSWs ranked physical and cognitive ability being the biggest hinderance. No connection to their own resistance of using technology was found.
The results show minimal resistance among all tiers of governance to integrate the use of iPads and Tablets in the care model for older adults. This is with exception to the PSWs perception of willingness and ability of clients to use these technologies. Results indicate that there is willingness to adapt technology integration into the health care delivery within assisted living care settings to aid in the overall care the aging population receives.
The researchers would like to thank the following for their support, without their dedication and time this research would not have been possible. Lisa Mudie, Executive Director at Richview Community Care Services Incorporated, and the community partner for this research. Linda Hill, Program Coordinator and Professor at Humber College. This project could not have been completed without the expertise and feedback provided by the survey participants. The researchers would like to show appreciation to the hardworking and dedicated team at RCCSC, the Personal Support Workers, Board of Directors, and Administration Team for their honest and thoughtful insights to this research and project. A special thank you to Soni Thapa Oli, PhD, professor at Humber College for taking her personal time to review and help the researchers finalize the thesis statement and research questions and to our graduating colleagues at Humber College Community Development Degree for their evaluation, critical assessment, and support. It provided essential information on the scope of the project and best practices.
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