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Parallel Session P10 - Assistive technologies and design

Detailed Programme and abstracts

Saturday, 2 October – 11.00-12.00 (Blue Room)

P10.1. DEMENTELCOACH: Effect of telephone coaching on informal and professional carers of community dwelling people with dementia

Van Mierlo1, L.D., Meiland, F.J.M2, Dröes, R.M.2

1Department of Psychiatry/Alzheimer Center, EMGO, VUmc Amsterdam,

2Department of Psychiatry/Department of Nursing home medicine, Alzheimer Center, EMGO, VUmc Amsterdam,,

Background. Taking care of community dwelling people with dementia is often a burdensome task for informal carers. Though a lot of effective support services are available, many carers do not use them. In the region Amersfoort/ Leusden (NL) a new intervention is started to provide emotional, social and practical support to informal carers by telephone coaching.. The project is called Dementelcoach and the telecoaching is offered by professional caregivers who have experience in dementia care and who received a training in telecoaching. This study evaluates the impact of this new intervention on informal carers and the newly trained telecoaches.

Research Goals. Main aim of the study is to gain insight into the effectiveness of the Dementelcoach intervention on the burden and health problems of the informal caregivers. Secondary, also the effect of the intervention (including the training) on the professional carers’ work satisfaction, work experience and self-esteem are investigated. Finally, the content of the offered telephone coaching is investigated.

Methods. The telephone coaching is offered to informal carers once in every two to three weeks during a period of 20 weeks. A pretest-posttest control group design is used to evaluate the effect of the coaching on the informal carers. Three groups are compared: a group who receives telephone coaching, a group who receives telephone coaching in combination with respite care (day care only for the person with dementia) and a group who receives respite care only (day care). To evaluate the effect on the professional carers a randomised controlled trial is applied. Two groups are compared: a group that provides care as usual and a group that, besides usual care, provides telephone support.

To investigate the effect of the intervention on the informal carer the following outcome measures are used: Carer burden (EDIZ, Short Sense of competence); Health complaints informal carers (GHQ-28). To investigate the effect on the professional carers their work satisfaction (MAS-GZ, VBBA) and self esteem (Rosenberg self-esteem questionnaire) will be assessed. To investigate the content of the telecoaching all support provided by the coaches will be registered and a questionnaire on client satisfaction will be administered to the informal carers. Also the training on telecoaching will be evaluated among the professional carers.

Results. The expected results are decreased burden and health complaints in informal carers, and increased work satisfaction and self-esteem in professional carers. Last, we expect to gain insight in the content and the effective elements of the Dementelcoach intervention for informal carers. As the study will be finished in december 2010, the poster will present the preliminary study results.

Time Schedule. The study started April 2009 and will be finished in December 2010

P10.2. Helping the elderly with memory disorders to orientate in built environment – a field study of a technological system

Laura Sorri1, Ilkka Winblad2, Eeva Leinonen3, Maarit Kangas4, Mari Ervasti5, Minna isomursu5

1 University of Oulu, Department of Architecture, Finland,

2Karpalokoti, University of Oulu, FinnTelemedicum,

3University of Oulu, Department of Information Processing Science, Finland,

4 University of Oulu, Department of Medical Technology, Finland,

5 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland,

The aging of the population with increasing numbers of people with dementia challenges to develop and design technology that guides persons with memory disorders in their daily activities. In the project ”Value Creation in Smart Living Environment for Senior Citizen” funded by the Academy of Finland we study applications of smart technology in order to help persons with dementia to orientate in everyday life.

Method. The study was conducted in 2009/2010 in the dementia rehabilitation unit ‘Karpalokoti’ in Pyhäjärvi, Finland. We used ”Wizard of Oz” method, in which technology still under refining is simulated to appear as coherent entity for the user. [1] The orientation advices were given through three modalities, visual (picture, text), audio and tactile (vibration) signals, of which two were used at time. The tested components of orientating in- and outdoors were getting off the ground, keeping on the right track, recognition of the landmarks, being guided back to the right track and recognition of the destination.

Subjects. Eleven subjects, five female, six male, aged 59–90 years (median 83 years), participated. Their degree of difficulty of dementia was between mild and severe (MMSEs 3–23) and walking condition ”from frail to hobby skier”. They and/or their relatives had given the informed consent for the study.

First results. Mostly the orientating with technology on a defined route succeeded with a few misinterpretations. The most common difficulties were getting off the ground, straying from the defined path, finding the right door and the attractions of real-life context like other people. The degree of difficulty of dementia didn’t seem to predict succeeding in orientating with the guiding system. Using the landmarks wasn’t as successful as using left, right and go straight on as guiding information. The ability to exploit the landmarks was dependent on the degree of dementia.


P10.3. Designing for Dementia

Jon Boon RIBA, Ingleton Wood Architects, England -

Ingleton Wood are designing a pioneering new £10m Dementia Intensive Care Unit (DICU) for the Norfolk & Waveney Mental Health NHS Trust in Norwich. Due to open in Spring 2011, the 36-bed unit (DICU) will be the first of its kind in the UK through its unique design and model of care. It will offer state-of-the-art support for diagnosis and early stage care for people with dementia, combined with a centre of research excellence. This illustrated talk will describe the process of making this facility a reality, in terms of design, construction and project management.

Design: The innovative design is based on current research and an extensive consultation process with specialist care staff, as well as with those already diagnosed with dementia together with their carers and families. Sensory and visual prompts, creativity-triggers and homelike furnishings will improve quality of life for residents and their visitors, in contrast to the institutional and unwelcoming surroundings often found in traditional establishments.

Each 12-room ward contains a ‘home-from-home’ living room and kitchen, to encourage active involvement for families and visitors as well as for the residents. A ‘reminiscence room’ with items such as archive television footage, will stimulate memories and encourage dialogue. Each resident will have a glass-fronted ‘memory box’ outside their bedroom door to aid recognition and orientation.

Bedrooms are arranged around courtyard gardens, containing outdoor memory prompts to trigger memories from residents’ earlier lives. One courtyard for example is planned to contain a real fishing boat to create perceptive links to traditional Norfolk seascapes. This is supplemented with calming water features, sensory planting, and even a garden shed.

The design team is working closely with local artists to integrate artwork within the building to stimulate visual perception. Central facilities will include a contemplation room, gymnasium, hair salon, launderette and café.

Construction: The building will also be environmentally friendly, achieving an ‘excellent’ rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). It will be of low-energy design, utilizing ground source heat pumps to provide under-floor heating, and solar panels to generate hot water and power. All the materials will have the highest environmental rating, including timber from sustainable sources and grass roofs to collect rainwater and offer a haven for wildlife.

Management: The design development process is also innovative, utilizing Revit, a 3D parametric modeling software. Instead of conventional 2D drawings, each discipline, including architecture, building services, environmental, engineering and landscaping, input data to an integrated 3D model, which provides full coordination, visualization and elemental clash-checking.



Last Updated: Wednesday 03 November 2010