We build our design speculations on three kinds of input – information material and previous interviews from ACRC, healthcare tech narratives in public discourse (articles) and personal conversations with our older relations. We assembled nuggets from these inputs through a three step process:

  1. Identifying mayor themes in the public narratives of healthcare technologies:
    – constant oversight and supervision
    – proactive and preventative risk management solutions
  2. Pinpointing tensions between different work packages in ACRC:
    – data driven modeling
    – xxxx
    – xxxx
  3. Furnishing these tensions with anecdotes from our personal interviews with older relations and their relationships to technology, care and health
    – gathering notions of resistance or contestation
    – gathering impressions of sense of self related to technology
    – gathering desires to be cared for but not xxx

We identified three main modes of interactions in the overlap of these aspects:
1. Reliance on algorithms to ensure high quality care across temporal changes
2. Avoidance of technology and distancing from monitoring
3. Coopting of technology to address needs ignored by the algorithms

Based on these different strands, we developed our suggestions for speculative care technologies and interventions.

Ursel, 88 year old

Ursel lives by herself in the city center, in an old building in the same neighborhood she grew up in. She moved back to the city after having lived with her deceased husband on the countryside. “He really loved living in this small place by the sea, but I always missed the city. When he died I really couldn’t enjoy the slow country life, and living in the city is just much less boring.” She lives on the fifth, the top floor, and even though the building has an elevator she still takes the stairs quite often. At least when she doesn’t carry her shopping, which she still does every day by herself. She appreciates living so central, since she likes to be active and cultural, and visits exhibitions, museums and concerts.

Though lately it has become tougher to go out, as many of her friends and relations have died or don’t feel up to taking excursions anymore. Her friends ask her why she doesnt get her groceries delivered, or even just ready made meals, like they do, but she responds that she likes doing the work herself. “You know, I have enough time, and these things keep me busy and moving around, otherwise I would just sit on the couch all day and do what? Get old?” She makes sure to do her exercises every day for at least 30 minutes, go outside and walk every day, and keep up with the different treatments she needs. She has recently stayed at a hospital for a longer time, to recover from hip surgery. She found it a horrible experience.

“Everyone there was so old. And I was there, because I am old too. It didn’t matter that I was more active and healthy than the other patients there and that I wanted to train as much as possible to be out and about sooner. The doctor said, if you are old, you belong with the old patients. They didn’t even pay much attention to me or supported me in my recovery, because they assumed I wouldn’t recover well anyway. And the other patients were very dull. It was so dreadful.” She says the doctors even adviced her to go into a senior home. “I am still very active and independent, and I want to stay that way. If I am not senile going into a senior home, I will be after living there for a few weeks.”

In previous years, she used the internet a lot for her hobby, family research. In the last year or two, her internet use has declined because her eyes have gotten worse. Her son wants to get her a smart phone, but she doesn’t think she would enjoy using it. “I gather that people don’t really use these phones for calls anyway. At what would you use a phone if not for calls?” She is a bit worried though, as she recently had a fall at night, and it took her a long time to alert someone for help. “It is a shame really. I have taken care of so many of my friends and relations who were getting old and sick. And now I don’t have much contact with anyone.”