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Improving the Quality of Life of Individuals with Dementia Using Personal Digital Media

  • Kanvar NayerEmail author
  • Selby Coxon
Chapter
Part of the Intelligent Systems Reference Library book series (ISRL, volume 167)

Abstract

Older populations are prone to chronic degenerative diseases, amongst which dementia, in its various forms, is on a steep rise [1, 2, 3]. Dementia deprives individuals of many cognitive faculties; loss of short-term memory and agitated behaviours are two common manifestations of the disease. Persons with dementia may find themselves depressed, bored, isolated and lonely, leading to behaviours that are challenging for carers to manage. Medication is used as the primary method of treating the symptoms of dementia. More than 40% of people with dementia at aged-care facilities are being prescribed unnecessary medication [4], which leads to reduced well-being and quality of life [5] and, may even accelerate cognitive decline [6]. There is broadening evidence of the efficacy of non-medicinal interventions to alleviate the stressful effects of dementia [7], in particular the positive stimulus of interacting with music and digitally mediated imagery. The challenge presented by these types of intervention is how to make them easily accessible to, and operable by those with cognitive impairment. This chapter describes the research and development of a touchscreen-based interface providing a variety of media experiences from music and photographs to family messages, all capable of being autonomously interacted with by elderly individuals.

Keywords

Improving quality of life People with dementia Multimedia system Personalised media Digital media Non-medicinal intervention Independence Self-reliance Reduce staff burden Family members Dedicated form factor Touchscreen Infra-red technology Information architecture Interface design Tactile buttons Alleviating symptoms of dementia Depression Boredom Loneliness Isolation Aged-care facility 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Art, Design and ArchitectureMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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