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, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 156–164 | Cite as

The design of smart homes for people with dementia—user-interface aspects

  • R. OrpwoodEmail author
  • C. Gibbs
  • T. Adlam
  • R. Faulkner
  • D. Meegahawatte
Long paper


This paper reports on the user requirements analysis, design and evaluation of smart home solutions for people with dementia. In order to be appropriate for people with dementia, smart home technologies should keep interaction with users to a minimum. In the work presented in this paper, discussions with carers, as well as a more formal user-survey, provided a good understanding of the issues that are faced by this group, and useful indications of potential design solutions. This preliminary survey work led to a design approach that used carer emulation, familiarity of appearance, incorporation of verbal prompts and reminders, and careful user-monitoring, to achieve effective devices. This design approach is illustrated through several examples of specific designs. Evaluations of stand-alone systems were carried out prior to smart home installation, and illustrated the complex interface that exists between assistive technology and people with dementia.


People with dementia Smart homes Needs surveys User-led design 



We would like to acknowledge support for the work presented from the EPSRC under their EQUAL programme, and from the European Commission for a 5th framework supported project called ENABLE.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Orpwood
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Gibbs
    • 1
  • T. Adlam
    • 1
  • R. Faulkner
    • 1
  • D. Meegahawatte
    • 1
  1. 1.Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, c/o Wolfson Centre, Royal United HospitalUniversity of BathBathUK

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