Articolo di AggiornAmento Quale aiuto dalla tecnologia? How technology can help?

R Andrich
2015 G Gerontol   unpublished
Assistive technology may play a key role within the end-of-life care context to support autonomy, communication , personal assistance and safety, when they are hampered by disability and frailty. It helps create a comfortable and enabling environment where the cared person can enjoy better independence and freedom and care-givers or family members can better cope with the assistance burden, experiencing less physical and cognitive load. Each individual case may require not only a single
more » ... e technology device: a comprehensive "assistive solution" should be implemented that includes a mix of three interventions, complementary to each other, according to the so-called "four 'A' s equation": "Assistive technology + personal Assistance + individual environmental Adaptations = Autonomy". However, despite today's high potential offered by technology, the role of assistive technology within the end-of-life care context is still undervalued. In Italy, the NHS (National Health Service) schemes of assistive technology service provision are not suitable to this context, which requires quick action on short time spans. Different schemes are needed-for instance temporary loan-which are currently in place only in few local communities. Service providers are challenged in various ways (cultural, educational and organizational) by the introduction of technology. This also involves thorough individual assessment in order to prevent ineffective and expensive choices which may bring about problems rather than advantages. Such challenges need to be addressed if we want to actually exploit the huge potential technology can offer in supporting the person and the family in this important stage of life.