Author(s): Courtney KL
OBJECTIVES: With large predicted increases of the older adult (65 years and older) population, researchers have been exploring the use of smart home information technologies (IT) in residential care (RC) facilities to enhance resident quality of life and safety. Older adults' perceptions of privacy can inhibit their acceptance and subsequent adoption of smart home IT. METHODS: This qualitative study, guided by principles of grounded theory research, investigated the relationship between privacy, living environment and willingness of older adults living in residential care facilities to adopt smart home IT through focus groups and individual interviews. RESULTS: The findings from this study indicate that privacy can be a barrier for older adults' adoption of smart home IT; however their own perception of their need for the technology may override their privacy concerns. Privacy concerns, as a barrier to technology adoption, can be influenced by both individual-level and community-level factors. CONCLUSIONS: Further exploration of the factors influencing older adults' perceptions of smart home IT need is necessary.