Draft Programme Session: Can technology enable people with dementia to retain their independence? (STS19)

January 3, 2017

Session Type: Lecture (sequence of presentation with questions and answers)

Can technology enable people with dementia to retain their independence?

Telecare systems have been available for decades. This assistive technology enables vulnerable people to call for external help from their home. More recently the potential of such systems for people with cognitive impairment has been promoted. However the extent to which Telecare actually ‘promotes’ independence is questionable, particularly given that it is only operational within the home and immediate vicinity (garden) and is by its nature largely unobtrusive.  Furthermore research evidence demonstrates that Telecare systems are most often installed for carer reassurance.  

Other forms of technology can be used to help people with a dementia diagnosis to undertake the tasks and activities that they need and wish to do safely and with confidence both in their homes and in the community.  People with dementia are compromised by poor cognition and navigational ability. There can be associated cognitive and co-morbid sensory impairments which make retaining independence challenging. However there is also increased awareness of the importance of facilitating continued engagement in life despite the dementia.

This session will focus upon technologies that aim to truly facilitate and sustain independence in the person with dementia  – both off the shelf and bespoke. Papers are invited that describe technologies that have been designed and/or deployed with the overt aim of enabling people with dementia to retain independence and continue with necessary and chosen activities. Papers should include reflection on how independence can be compromised by declining cognition, what people living with the condition state is important in helping them to retain their independence and how the technology they describe can meet these needs.


Contact: Gail Mountain, University of Bradford, UK
Email: g.mountain@bradford.ac.uk



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