BSG Conference

BSG Conference

Using telepresence robots to support virtual family visits during the lockdown in Long-Term Care


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted older adults living with dementia in LTC. Social isolation and loss of connections with families among residents have been detrimental and severely impacted quality of life.

Method: This project aims to enhance LTC homes’ capacity to support family virtual visits by using a telepresence robot. Research question: Is it feasible to implement robotic-assisted virtual care in LTC homes? We applied a Collaborative Action Research (CAR) approach to work with stakeholders (frontline leaders, staff and families) to explore the experiences of family virtual visits. 

Result: Our analysis identified three themes: (a) Easy to visit, (b) Mobile movement and video features matter, (c) Cultural safety for robot adoption

Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest families appreciated the robot for easy connection. Future research should apply inclusive methods to bring relevant stakeholders together to fully explore user experiences – who is affected in what ways, and what are the benefits, risks, burdens of emerging technologies.