User Research in Elderly Homes

What did you see?
We spent two days in two different elderly homes in Copenhagen (Absalonhus and Bethania) – most of the residents have dementia. We interviewed some elderly people, the staff and the manager of both places. We could see the everyday life of the residents and how the home is structured and organised.

What did you learn?

  • How to plan field research and how to conduct an interview
  • How we could create a nice and relaxed atmosphere with the interviewee while getting useful design suggestions, understanding needs and dreams
  • We also paid a lot of attention on how to get genuine feedback from the users.

What did it means – your insights?

We underlined some main needs for the residents:
They want to be as autonomous as possible in terms of mobility and date/time understanding; and they want to have an active social life but also keep their privacy as a value.

We thought about some tools that could be developed to address these needs such as underlining natural cycles to keep them in contact with reality and passing time. We discussed using nature to connect them with the space/context and help them to relax. We also thought about how existing devices can be improve some existing devices such as phones, gym interfaces, watches, TV and radios, to make them more accessible for elderly people.