The aim of this study was to assess in practice whether assistive technologies support and facilitate the work of a family caregiver or care staff, and whether these technologies support the independence of a person with a memory disorder. A comprehensive set of supportive devices and alarm systems were experimentally tested in the care of five test subjects in an assisted living facility by eight nurses, and in the care of four test subjects in a home environment by three family caregivers and one care team. Questionnaires, diaries and logged data were used to evaluate the benefits of the devices. Simple aids and alarm systems that did not need much adjusting were considered most useful by caregivers and nurses, though multiple false alarms occurred during the test period. Technical connection problems, complex user interface, and inadequate sound quality were the primary factors reducing the utility of the tested devices. Further experimental research is needed to evaluate the utility of assistive technologies in different stages of a memory disorder.
SOURCE: Nauha, L., Keranen, N. S., Kangas, M., Jamsa, T., Reponen, J. “Assistive technologies at home for people with a memory disorder.” Dementia [Published online before print October 20, 2016]
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