“Every Day Is Full Of Dilemmas”: Empirical ethics and the care for elderly with dementia

Anders Albrechtslund, Astrid Meyer, Stinne Ballegaard Aaløkke

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This paper addresses the ethical dilemmas of using surveillance technologies for the care of elderly with dementia at a nursing home in Denmark. The tendency to wander away is a dangerous and recurring event at the nursing home. Associated with dementia, this wandering tendency means that the staff navigate constant dilemmas related to the tensions between good care and personal freedom. These dilemmas are exacerbated with the emerging use of surveillance technologies and techniques, which care staff need to balance with trying to preserve the safety, dignity and integrity of the elderly with dementia - all while dealing with potentially malfunctioning technologies and changing workflows. We report from the research project LIVSTEGN which aims to develop an ethical framework for the use of surveillance technologies. Through ethnographic fieldwork and participatory design-based workshops, we focus on lived experiences with wandering tendencies and surveillance technologies. Here, our ambition is to develop a framework for using emerging care technologies based on empirical ethics. How can we create safety and security for citizens with dementia while still protecting their dignity and personal freedom?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAnthropology of Technology Conference - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 4 Nov 20215 Nov 2021


ConferenceAnthropology of Technology Conference
LocationAarhus University
Internet address


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