Technology and Dementia: The Way Ahead

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Abstract

This chapter is an overview of the future state of the art in using technology to help people remain functionally independent and in their residence of choice. This is perceived to be the direction and ultimate goal of dementia treatment and prevention. Of course methods and new approaches gained in striving toward an era of prevention may be immediately applicable to those who unfortunately nevertheless may succumb to dementing illnesses as well. This chapter describes first what current and then prospective generations of senior’s experiences and interactions can tell us about how technologies may be shaped and used in the future. This is followed by a vision of the future based on the view that the multiple technologies now available will continually undergo mixing and hybridization such that increasingly the home will become the basic unit of assessment and care provision in an environment of multifunctional ambient technology monitoring and health maintenance. Finally, key challenges to achieving this environment are described at the person level as well as the technical and systems level. Ultimately, these are perceived as challenges that can be surmounted ushering in an era of personalized health maintenance and care that also provides better population-based policy and management.