SMART HOMES, OLDER ADULTS, AND CAREGIVERS: FACILITATING SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE AND NEGOTIATING RESPONSIBILITIES [RESOURCE] – Project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, National Research Program 77 “Digitalization Transformation”


Smart home technology is advancing and proliferating. It is likely that the younger adults today will be capable of and open to smart home solutions as they age if the technology would  help them lead an independent, comfortable life. But what about now?

RESOURCE project investigates the different aspects of that question. Led by the Institute of Bio- and Medical Ethics of the University of Basel (PD Dr. Tenzin Wangmo) and the Institut et Haute Ecole de la Santé La Source (Prof. Delphine Roulet Schwab), this project brings together partners from universities in Western and German-speaking Switzerland, from different cultural backgrounds, different age groups, and different roles in the field of caregiving and technology.

A plethora of already available smart home technology exists that could be used by older adults to help them remain independent and allow them to age-in-place for a longer period of time. At the same time, both formal and informal caregivers still provide their services mostly without much smart home assistance. Thus, an important potential for help, both for the care recipients and the care receivers, is little used. Therefore, the first goal of this study is to identify the knowledge gaps and obstacles, in order to unfold this potential.

Nevertheless, with newer technologies and technologies becoming more complex, several ethical and social issues are raised. This is why the second goal of this study is to investigate where these issues lie, whom they concern, and how they could be mitigated.

Both of these goals will be achieved through the use of interviews with concerned stakeholders, comprising older adults, professional caregivers and their informal caregivers / family members. In case you would like to participate in the study,  please do not hesitate to contact us:

The results of this study will not only benefit the academic field in regards to research in caregiving. We will also reinforce our cooperation with the private sector of caregiving and smart homes, and disseminate our findings there. Furthermore, we hope that the interested public will also find our work useful. Therefore, we will continuously put information from our study and literature on the topic on this website. 

Lastly, we will organize implementation workshops where stakeholders from academia and the private sector will come together to discuss the results of this project within the overall knowledge that is currently available. We hope to advance the use of smart home technology in an ethically and socially beneficial way. Members of the public may also attend our implementation workshops. We will disseminate information on this website. Thus, please stay tuned.  

If you are interested to receive further information or updates about the project, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Nadine Felber
PhD Candidate

Institute for Biomedical Ethics
Bernoullistrasse 28
4056 Basel