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Using an interactive digital calendar with mobile phone reminders by senior people - a focus group study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education. Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1281-6392
2019 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 19, article id 116Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

New technologies such as mobile/smartphones have the potential to help senior people perform everyday activities. However, senior people may find it difficult using mobile/smartphones, especially the digital calendar and short text message features. Therefore, senior people might need user-friendly, flexible, and interactive digital calendars that provide them with active reminders about their everyday activities. This study focuses on community dwelling seniors’ experiences learning and using RemindMe, an interactive digital calendar with active reminders, as part of customizing an intervention appropriate for senior people with cognitive impairments.

Methods

Four focus groups were conducted with 20 community dwelling seniors (11 men and 9 women) who all had used RemindMe for six weeks. The focus groups were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using content analysis.

Results

For participants in this study, using a calendar was an essential part of their everyday lives, but only a few had experiences using a digital calendar. Although the participants described RemindMe as easy to use, they had a difficult time incorporating RemindMe into their daily routines. In part, these difficulties were the result of the participants needing to change their mobile/smartphone routines. Some participants felt that using an interactive digital calendar was a sign of modernity allowing them to take part in the society at large, but others felt that their inability to use the technology was due to their age, dependence, and loss of function. Participants found that receiving active reminders through short text messages followed by actively acknowledging the reminder helped them perform more everyday life activities. This feature gave them a higher sense of independence and control.

Conclusions

Community dwelling seniors found that RemindMe was easy to learn and to use, although they also found it challenging to integrate into their everyday lives. For senior people to make the effort to develop new routines for mobile/smartphone use, a prerequisite for using a digital calendar, they need to be motivated and believe that the technology will make their lives better.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 19, article id 116
Keywords [en]
Technology, Active reminders, Mobile/smartphone, Self-help devices, Reminder systems, Cell phone, Text messaging, Habits
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Special Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168184DOI: 10.1186/s12877-019-1128-9ISI: 000465403700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168184DiVA, id: diva2:1306654
Available from: 2019-04-24 Created: 2019-04-24 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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