The objectives of this book were stated in Chapter One as:
To establish the position regarding social alarms in Great Britain and Ireland, to explore their evolution and the services provided, and to consider their place within social policy frameworks.
To establish in broad terms the position regarding social alarms in other parts of the world, the services provided, and to make comparisons where possible between them and with Great Britain and Ireland.
To consider the role and effectiveness of social alarms in supporting independent living.
To explore the implications for social alarm services of current technological developments associated with smart homes, certain aspects of telemedicine, and lifestyle monitoring.
The hypothesis that affirmed that social alarms and the services associated with them help to support independent living was also to be tested.
The intellectual context in which the work has been undertaken was set out in Chapters One to Three This pointed to the fact that there was a paucity of literature on the subject of social alarms and that there had been no prior attempt to position such technologies within any social theoretical framework. The material gathered in this book that is pertinent to social alarms has served to confirm that social alarms are peripheral to the housing, social welfare and health services within which they have been used. That such a position on the periphery is no longer appropriate is, it is considered, borne out by its findings.
However, social alarms have not been considered in isolation. They have been placed in the context that relates to the interface between older people and technologies.
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