Developing a technology 'wish-list' to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia

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  2. Dr Grant Gibson
Author(s)Sixsmith A, Gibson G, Orpwood R, Torrington J
Publication type Article
JournalInternational Journal of Gerontechnology
ISSN (print)1569-1101
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INDEPENDENT was an interdisciplinary project to explore the potential of technology and design solutions to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia, to help them to live independently, to empower them without compromising their rights or privacy. This paper describes the user-focused approach and methodology devised within INDEPENDENT to drive the technology development and to ensure that any subsequent devices and systems are grounded within a thorough understanding of the needs, preferences and desires of potential users. A key aim was to take into account the everyday realities within which people with dementia live, and the paper outlines an ecological model of quality of life as a guiding framework involving factors associated with the person, context, everyday activities, personal meanings and well-being. The paper describes the project methods and techniques as a possible model for user-driven research and development for people with dementia and/or other vulnerable groups. This involved a series of related workshops to: explore the problem area; specify a ‘wish list’ of opportunities where technology interventions could help to improve the quality of life of people with dementia; identify possible technology solutions; prioritise a final set of technologies for development. The paper briefly describes the results of this process in terms of the key dimensions of quality of life and potential design and technology solutions.
PublisherInternational Society for Gerontechnology
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