Listening to the ones who care: exploring the perceptions of informal caregivers towards ambient assisted living applications

  • Christina JaschinskiEmail author
  • Somaya Ben Allouch
Original Research


Ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies have received increased attention from government, industry and research. Informal caregivers will be directly affected by the use of these technologies and are likely to be key influencers in the adoption decision of older adults. However, so far the informal caregivers’ perceptions, concerns and needs have been mostly overlooked in AAL research. To address these shortcomings, two studies were conducted. Study I consisted of 20 in-depth interviews with informal caregivers to investigate their perception of various AAL applications. In Study II these findings were validated with regard to our own prototype application called SONOPA. The second study included couples of informal caregivers and care receivers to compare both user groups. Although informal caregivers had a more positive attitude than care receivers and appreciated the opportunities of AAL technologies (e.g., increased safety, peace of mind); they also had several concern such as invading the care receiver’s privacy, the lack of human touch, and the care receiver’s technology experience. To address these concerns, informal caregivers should be more involved when developing AAL applications.


Ambient assisted living Smart homes Technology acceptance Caregiver User-centered design 



We thank the research assistants F. Mokkink, M. Heideman and M. Kokkelink who supported us in the data collection process. Furthermore, we want to express our gratitude to all participants for sharing their insights with us.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group Technology, Health and CareSaxion University of Applied SciencesEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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