User Research: A Better Purgatory

What did you see?
The group started our research by interviewing two residents and one nurse (carer) from an elderly people home in Copenhagen. We had the opportunity to interact with some of the residents, one in their personal space and two in a public space (a common activity room). Our main objective was to delve deeper into the notion of intimacy and contact – what it means and how its demonstrated. What we ended up getting was entierly different – we put this down to the power of research.

The task was to raise questions in the following categories: Social Life; Physical Activity; and Autonomy

Our curiosity led us to investigate topics such as hobbies, death and new inhabitants.

What did you learn?

  • The residents prefer to stay in their rooms – Isolation
  • The relatives think they can only visit during certain visiting hours – like in a hospital
  • They do not want to make new friends. However, this is felt to be an important part of the nursing home

What did it mean – your insights?

  • They need someone to empathise with them, rather than just sympathise.
  • They need to keep their connections to the “the real world” alive.
  • They need something to bridge the gap between communal and private space.
  • The perceptions of all parties concerned need to be changed to see the old people’s home as “Home”.