The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has produced a collection of web pages which explore the potential of new technology to support people living with dementia, and their families / carers. Suggested applications of information technology include access to information, entertainment / reminiscence materials and advice, plus the assistance and reassurance provided by telemonitoring and remote support.
“Used sensitively and thoughtfully, technology enhances rather than replaces human relationships and interactions”.
Technology supporting people living with dementia and their carers. [Online]: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), July 2017.
Section headings comprise:
- Introducing technology: offers basic guidance on getting-off to a good start when introducing unfamiliar new technologies.
- Using technology for keeping in touch: discusses the wide range of communication channels open to people with dementia for keeping in-touch with family and friends, to maintain greater independence and meaningful relationships.
- Using technology for recording and maintaining a life story: covering the use of technology to create a summary of each person’s biographical experiences, their significant relationships, their likes and dislikes etc. Awareness of such biographical / personal details is an important foundation for the provision of person-centered care.
- Using technology for entertainment: this is about how technology offers unprecedented opportunities for recreation, fun and learning, for both patients and their carers / families.
- Using technology to inform, stimulate and engage: self-explanatory, but this section reveals much more than meets the eye.
- Being creative with technology: covering the opportunities new technology offers persons with dementia express themselves most creatively.
- Using technology to stay independent: exploring the scope for cost-effective means of technology-based support, without necessarily compromising care quality.
- Using technology in care homes: considering alternative methods to improve the care and support of residents.
Work at the Care Research and Technology Centre (Imperial College London)
Research into the “healthy dementia home” of the future will explore the use of sensors and devices to be worn in the home to monitor signs of physical deterioration, or changes in patients’ behaviour, to minimise the risk of elderly persons being admitted to hospital unnecessarily. Other applications being studied, with a view to maintaining independence at home for persons with dementia, include RTLS/RFID to track patterns of movement, robotic devices and possibly sleep monitors.
Technology to keep dementia patients out of hospital. London: BBC Health News, April 17th 2019.