Ethical issues arise when the risks and benefits of technology use are unclear or controversial, or their access inequitable. This paper presents a preliminary framework for understanding ethical issues related to IT development and adoption by elderly persons with cognitive impairments and their caregivers. The development of the framework relied on a hybrid qualitative approach that draws on several data sources: 1) systematic literature review, 2) focus groups with IT users, and 3) a reflexive researcher-learning diary.Preliminary findings were synthesized into a coherent model that views IT adoption as the outcome of complex interactions between different factors: 1) Personal factors that include the cognitive abilities of the users, as well as their physical and sensory limitations, and 2) Environmental factors that are related to the technology, the caregivers, and the support networks of the user with cognitive impairment. Findings from this project will help better understand, balance, and responsibly address the competing ethical issues at play in technology development and adoption by elderly persons with cognitive impairments and their caregivers.
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