Acceptability and Needs of Seniors for Care Technologies in Finland and Japan: Who Should Give Care and with Which Technologies?

Marketta Niemelä, Hiroyasu Miwa, Mari Ylikauppila, Kentaro Watanabe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


    Aging population has become a global issue. The sustainability of independent life of the elderly and elderly-care services has been questioned because of limited financial and social resources for the growing number of older people. Toward this situation, innovative solutions have been anticipated. Recently, ICT and robotic technologies, especially care robots, are gaining attentions as new solutions to support the elderly's living and care services. However, there are still barriers to accept care robots in living and care environments for the elderly, for instance, the lack of information and experience of care robots among care workers (Turja, 2016; Määttä, Watanabe & Miwa, 2016). Further research and development are being anticipated. Our study focuses on the differences in acceptability to care technologies among countries. There are different life styles, cultural background, care policy and practices in each country, which would strongly affect the acceptability and needs in care technologies. Comparative studies to examine differences in technological acceptability and needs are still in the emerging phase. Specifically, we are investigating these differences between Finland and Japan. Although both countries are economically developed and rather stable social welfare systems, their care policy, social system and general lifestyles are different from each other. By comparing each country's acceptability and needs to care technologies, meaningful insight for developing and implementing care technologies in a global context could be obtained. Based on this assumption, we've been conducting a questionnaire survey on acceptability and needs toward care technologies in both countries. The target respondents are active seniors, who are considered as users of care technologies in the future. Web questionnaire has been used to receive responses, so that the respondents are limited in the internet users. The questionnaire to each group has 20 questions based on preliminary interviews with elderly people and care workers. These questions include such topics as their expectations and requirements for future care services, their lifestyles, general attitude toward technology, specific needs for care technologies and user data. In our presentation, we will introduce the preliminary result about acceptance and needs for care technologies between Finnish and Japanese active seniors - the future receivers of care and users of care robots and other technologies. The definition of active seniors in this study is over 65 year old people who don't receive care yet and are not providing care to somebody else. The used samples are 115 in Finland and 219 in Japan, which were collected until 20 January 2017. The preliminary result shows that Finnish respondents are more willing to using care support technologies (e.g., walking support, washing and toiletry support, mobility and transfer support, medicine taking support, dementia preventing games) for both their independent living and care services for themselves than Japanese. Meanwhile, Finnish respondents are less willing to using social robots than Japanese. Furthermore, in Finland elderly people seem to most likely receive care from a professional caregiver, whilst in Japan the expected caregiver is the spouse. Two thirds (67%) of the Finnish respondents expect advanced technologies such as robotics to become more necessary to themselves in the future, whilst about 53% of the Japanese respondents think the same. On the other hand, a bigger proportion (86%) of Japanese seniors see that the distribution of advanced technologies such as robotics is good or very good for the society, whilst 70% of the Finnish respondents agree. We will discuss these findings in the context of changing expectations and requirements for elderly care work and workers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWORK 2017
    Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts
    PublisherUniversity of Turku
    ISBN (Print)978-951-29-6882-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event3rd International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work and Working Life, WORK2017 - Turku, Finland
    Duration: 16 Aug 201718 Aug 2017


    Conference3rd International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work and Working Life, WORK2017
    Abbreviated titleWORK2017


    • elderly
    • acceptance
    • care technologies
    • Finland
    • Japan


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