In this project, we investigated the many people who provide an elder with the care that she needs to remain at home (i.e., "age in place"). These people – often family, friends, and neighbors of the elder – comprise her care network. Paid help, such as professional caregivers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and house cleaners, may also be involved. Care network members, particularly family, friends, and neighbors, face many challenges. For several of these members, caring for the elder is an important but secondary focus, as they have their own families, careers, and problems to manage.
The CareNet Display was our first prototype to help the local members of the elder's care network to provide her with care and coordinate care-related activities. It is an interactive digital picture frame, inspired in part by Georgia Tech's Digital Family Portrait, that augments a photograph of an elder with information about her daily life. We evaluated the CareNet Display prototype in a 3-week "Wizard of Oz"-style field study in the homes of several members of four different care networks in the Seattle Metropolitan Area.
Care Network Diagram for "Grace"
In Grace's care network diagram, the circles represent the members of her network (the inner light-gray oval include local members, and the outer darker-gray oval includes the members of her care network who live at a distance). Lines show communication flow (thickness represents volume). White lines represent communications about, but not directly with, the elder.
S. Consolvo & J. Towle. “Evaluating an Ambient Display for the Home,” CHI ’05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Portland, Oregon, (2005), pp. 1304-7.
S. Consolvo, P. Roessler, & B.E. Shelton. “The CareNet Display: Lessons Learned from an In Home Evaluation of an Ambient Display,” Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing: UbiComp ’04, Nottingham, England, (2004), pp.1-17.
S. Consolvo, P. Roessler, B.E. Shelton, A. LaMarca, B. Schilit, & S. Bly. “Technology for Care Networks of Elders,” IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine: Successful Aging, 3(2), (2004), pp. 22-9.