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Research participants needed

text: research participants needed

Help us understand how people use technologies to live their best lives!

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) are working with the Centre for Care (based at the University of Sheffield) to explore how digital technologies can support living a good life. We would like to work with people with lived experience of care or support, including health and social care, and/ or Deaf / Disabled / older people. The technology we’d like to talk about includes devices designed specifically for health and care but also everyday devices from smartphones to ‘gadgets’ like curtain openers.

We are working with a group of people with lived experience to co-produce the research. Together we have decided the research will look at:

  • What technologies are being used by people receiving social care to live their best lives?
  • How do people ‘blend together’ or ‘change’ technologies to help them produce outcomes that matter to them?
  • Do technologies bring new opportunities, barriers, benefits and risks, and who benefits? Who is left out? Could some people be at risk?
  • How do technologies affect things like family relationships, paid care, and employment?

Who we want to speak to: people with experience of care and support about how they use technologies in their daily lives (at home or in the wider community).

What will being involved look like (what are we asking of you)?

  1. Talking to University of Sheffield researchers about your life, your experiences with care, and your views on technology. We are hoping to carry out several rounds of conversations to see whether the ways that you use technology or your thoughts about technologies change. These relaxed conversations will be at a time and place that suits you (or online).
  2. Other ways to capture how you engage with technology – we would like this to be as fun as possible for you! You might choose other methods like writing a journal or diary entries about your care experiences or taking photos of your daily life, or showing us how you use technology (we will supply any equipment).
  3. Linking us up with your social/care ‘network’ – if you are interested, we would also like to interview around three people within your network, like close family or friends, neighbours, health and social care staff, or other people you are close to. This is to give an understanding of how technology might influence who you interact with on a daily basis.

What can we offer you?

We realise that we are asking a lot of you! There are some ways that we feel you may benefit from the research:

  • Your ideas and experiences will improve research by helping us to understand and answer important questions about the effects of technology (whether good or bad) and the potential of technology.
  • The findings – which will be made anonymous, with any information that might identify you taken out – will be included in reports on policy and academic journals. This could help influence policy direction, shape debate and make a difference to people’s lives. We will share these documents with you.
  • If you would like to, you can also write blog posts for our website and take part in audio-recorded podcast episodes.
  • We will also provide you with payment in appreciation of your involvement and will cover any travel expenses.

If you are interested, have any questions, or would like an informal chat to find out more contact either Kate Hamblin: or Grace Whitfield:

Thank you!

About Kate and Grace

Kate’s research has focused on technology and its role in the care of older people with complex needs. Kate has also examined issues related to employment, including the balance between unpaid care and paid work; self-employment and ageing; and ‘active ageing’ employment and pension policies. She has also been involved in research that has explored the impact of artistic activities and engagement on health and wellbeing. 

In her role at the Centre for Care, Grace has been working with Professor Kate Hamblin to examine the effects of technology changes on paid and unpaid care provision. The research will consider whether, and in what circumstances, digitalisation has positive or negative consequences for stakeholders. It will focus on inequalities of technology implementation, the impact of fragmentation and financialisaton, and the nature of the labour process.

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