Swinburne University Research at MLH

The research team (Diego, Mia, Sonja) from Swinburne University’s Living Lab has been working with our residents for more than 1.5 years now. They are looking into engagement with technology in aged care settings. We are excited that some of our residents are open to discovering new technologies and developing their skills. The research team now has two academic publications based on their visit at Martin Luther Homes, one of them even with one of our residents as a co-author!

Sonja, Mia and Diego come on-site weekly. They either join our group technology session in the aged care facility or visit our aged care residents on a 1:1 basis. They also meet with a group from the retirement village and work on specific projects with them.

Some of the most popular activities in the sessions are, for example, doing online quizzes and using drawing apps. Everyone has a lot of fun exploring this new way of being creative! Recently, the team also brought a small robot on-site and the residents (and staff) were eager to learn about its programming.

One of the highlights in the retirement village last year was the presentation of the short films that our residents have worked on.

End of last year, the team had wonderful news: Their latest funding proposal for their continuing research into technology in aged care settings has been successful. Sonja, Mia and Diego will be able to continue their work next year with our aged care and ILU residents. The team will also grow with two additional PhD students joining this year.

Earlier this year, the team reached another milestone: Their first papers were published. Their publication “Understanding Confidence of Older Adults for Embracing Mobile Technologies” is now online at the ACM Digital Library. First authored by Mia (Lan An), co-authored by Diego Muñoz, Sonja Pedell and Leon Sterling. This paper explores how older adults use currently available technologies to understand the factors that influence how they build confidence in technology use.

The team also recently had the opportunity to present their work to an international audience at a conference in Germany. Mia presented a case study exploring the building of confidence of older adults in the use of technology. The study focused on a co-designed project in which the residents created their own digital stories.

This case study specifically tells the story of Christel, one of our residents of the retirement village, and her path to building this story. This case study was also co-authored by Christel reflecting on her experiences from a research point of view. If you are curious to find out more about this research, you can have a look at the case study here.

We get a lot of positive feedback from our residents about working together with the research team. We want to thank Sonja, Mia and Diego for their great effort in supporting our residents in the use of modern technology. We are looking forward to continue this collaboration and are very curious what else the team will come up with in the future!