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P19: Technology and dementia

Detailed programme, abstracts and presentations

P19: Technology and dementia

P19.1. Remote monitoring of people with dementia: the Dem@Care Experience


The increase in dementia in its various forms, is posing great burdens on society, healthcare and economies. Remote monitoring solutions allow elderly with cognitive impairments to live independently for a longer period of time, due to the increased security and sense of safety they provide, and the quick detection of emergencies or changes in lifestyle. In Dem@Care, three types of visual monitoring are deployed: color, color-depth and wearable camera. In lab settings, participants are asked to carry out a pre-defined set of activities, which are automatically recognized from color video with very high accuracy by SoA computer vision techniques, so as to reveal difficulties they have in carrying out ADLs. The duration, omission or repetition of ADLs is indicative of cognitive difficulties, especially when compared to a person’s baseline capabilities. In continuous home monitoring, the challenging problem of detecting activities in videos of a long duration and recognizing them is addressed with high accuracy, aiming for an autonomous ambient visual monitoring solution that produces reliable activity and lifestyle patterns for an individual, such as the frequency/order in which they carry out ADLs. Color-depth visual sensing is also deployed at laboratory and nursing home to detect and track individuals in the scene for the automatic recognition of daily living and sleep-related activities, which is closely related to cognitive and emotional status. Wearable sensing is deployed using a GoPro camera to recognize gestures and objects with which the individuals interact, so as to refine the activity recognition results. The fusion of all visual sensing modalities leads to a comprehensive and meaningful description of their current status and changes in it, which can support their diagnosis and care. All abovementioned methods are developed while respecting privacy, as the visual data itself is automatically processed, avoiding human interventions.

P19.2. How is learning and maintaining know-how related to technology experienced by people with dementia?


Introduction: People with dementia are expected to manage everyday technologies such as cell phones, cash machines and remote controls, and new technologies to support them are continuously developed and introduced. But to be able to use technology, ability to learn new and maintain former know-how as well as to solve problems that occur when using technology is required. Most research on learning in the field of dementia has studied teaching approaches while little is known about learning as experienced and undertaken by those who learn; i.e. people with dementia.

The aim of this study was to explore the lived experience of learning related to technology among people with mild to moderate stage dementia.

Method: Seven persons with dementia were interviewed in-depth, and data were analysed with a phenomenological approach.

Results: Preliminary findings show how the participants positioned themselves in the technological landscape, and the process of self-initiated learning and maintaining know-how was characterized by a struggle to maintain the everyday flow of doing. Learning and technology were given different meanings by participants, and they used different ways of learning; for example; relying on previous knowledge, on support from others, on technology itself, or belonging to a learning context.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that we have much to gain from a better understanding of how people with dementia strive to learn and maintain skills and knowledge that they have related to technology. This is particularly important as learning seems to be undertaken by using other approaches than those employed in current teaching methods. The necessity of learning particularly stands out when it comes to the interaction with the current multitude and ever-changing designs of everyday technologies and interactive systems, including assistive technologies developed to support people with dementia.

P19.3. How older adults with mild cognitive impairment relate to technology as part of and potential support in everyday life


Existing everyday technology as well as potential future technology may offer both challenges and possibilities in the everyday doings of persons with cognitive decline. To meet their wishes and needs, the perspective of the persons themselves is an important starting point in intervention planning. The aim of this study was to explore how persons with mild cognitive impairment relate to technology as a part of and as potential support in everyday life – both present and future. Qualitative in-depth interviews with six participants aged 61-86 were conducted and analyzed, using a grounded theory approach. The findings describe the participants’ different ways of relating to existing and potential future technology in everyday doings as a continuum of downsizing, retaining, and updating. Multiple conditions in different combinations affected both their actions taken and assumptions made towards technology in this continuum. Both when downsizing doing and technology use to achieve simplicity in everyday life and when striving for or struggling with updating, trade-offs between desired and adverse outcomes were made, challenging take-off runs were endured, and negotiations of the price worth paying took place. In conclusion, our findings suggest that persons with mild cognitive impairment may relate to technology in various ways to meet needs of downsized doing, but are reluctant to adopt video-based monitoring technology intended to support valued doing. Feasibility testing of using already-incorporated everyday technologies such as smartphones and tablets as platforms for future technology support in everyday activities is suggested.

P19.4. Can everyday technology use predict need of support to live in the community among older adults with cognitive impairments?

RYD Charlotta, NYGÅRD Louise, MALINOWSKY Camilla, ÖHMAN Annika, KOTTORP Anders

Introduction: The number of older adults with cognitive impairments that affect the ability to live independently in the community is increasing. To identify and provide support to those in need is beneficial for the individuals as well as for the society. Increasing use of everyday technology (ET) has facilitated daily life but also made it more demanding. Amount of ETs perceived as relevant and perceived difficulty using ET has been proven to identify functional impairments among older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild stage Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) but if these measures can predict level of needed support to live in the community has not been explored.

Aim: To explore if amount of ETs perceived as relevant and perceived difficulty using ET can predict level of needed support to live in the community among older adults with mild stage AD or MCI.

Method: Participants were 69 older adults with MCI or mild stage AD. Levels of ETs perceived as relevant and perceived difficulty using ET were included in two logistic regression models aimed to predict level of needed support.

Results: In the model aiming to discriminate between participants that were independent from those who were in need of support the perceived amount of relevant ETs had a significant effect on the outcome. In the model aimed to discriminate between participants that needed maximal or moderate support from those that were independent or in need of minor support the perceived ability to use ET had a significant effect on the outcome.

Conclusion: Amount of ETs perceived as relevant and perceived difficulty to use ET are both useful for predicting need of support in daily life and complements each other in predicting different levels of need among the participants.



Last Updated: Tuesday 29 September 2015


  • Acknowledgements

    The 25th AE Conference in Ljubljana received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). Alzheimer Europe and Spominčica gratefully acknowledge the support of all conference sponsors.
  • European Union
  • Roche
  • SCA Global Hygiene