Helen Manchester 13:05 - 13:35

Tangible Memories: Community care through storytelling

The digital transformations of the last few decades are leaving behind many older adults who, for reasons ranging from accessibility issues to work biographies to personal preference, are less likely to engage with digital technologies. At the same time discourse and practice around the design of technologies for those in later life foregrounds the biological over the personal, social and cultural needs of older people, tending to highlight aspects of surveillance and/or the need for ‘assistive’ technologies to help older people struggling with failing bodies or the physical demands of living at home. The AHRC funded project, Tangible Memories, adopted a different approach – co-designing technologies with older adults to decrease aspects of social isolation often experienced in care home settings. The project explored the potential of tangible user interfaces to enable storytelling with older adults to increase ‘community’ in care home settings. Adopting sociomaterial approaches this paper discusses our co-design ‘experiments’ and the experiences of the older adults in relation to human and non human elements, in making sense of, and sharing, their lives lived in embodied and material ways.

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