Dispensing care?: The dosette box and the status of low‐fi technologies within older people’s end‐of‐life caregiving practices

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Duschinsky, Robbie 
Barclay, Stephen 

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pTechnology has been lauded as a solution to range of challenges presented by ageing population internationally. While the lion‐share of scholarship has focussed on high‐fi, digital technologies, there has been a recent shift to exploring the contributions mundane, low‐fi technologies make to older people's daily lives and our understandings of health, illness and care more broadly. Drawing from serial narrative interview data collected with 19 married couples aged 70 and over living in the U.K., this article explores the way one medical technology—the dosette box—was taken‐up and deployed in their end‐of‐life caring process. Informed by actor–network theory and critical feminist scholarship, this article considers how the dosette box played an active role in structuring relationships, scheduling daily care activities and enforcing medical compliance. In doing so, we suggest that the dosette box provided an unexpected companion and ‘weapon of the weak’ for older partner's attempting to assert their expertise and power while caring. We also explore how the dosette box demanded an even higher level of regular, vital care from older partner's once introduced into the home, thus entrenching the physical and emotional demands of dispensing care.</jats:p>

ORIGINAL ARTICLE, ORIGINAL ARTICLES, actor–network theory, ageing, elderly care, family/kinship, health technology/ technology assessment, narrative method
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Sociology of Health &amp; Illness
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Wellcome Trust (Grant WT103343MA)
Woolf Fisher Trust (2016 Cambridge Doctoral Scholarship)