Exploring How an Interactive Placemat Can Influence Eating Activities for People with Dementia
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People with dementia often face problems during eating activities, due to the loss of physical and cognitive functioning. With an increasing amount of research suggesting how everyday sounds can have beneficial effects for people with dementia, we raise the question whether everyday sounds related to eating can improve dining experiences in care facilities. To explore this, we deployed an interactive placemat during the eating activities of people with dementia. Observations and interviews gave insight into the interactions with the placemat, how these interactions offered distractions and the general atmosphere during eating activities. We encourage design-researchers to explore how sound-based interventions promote good eating behaviors, but an understanding of how people with dementia engage with sound and other sensory stimuli is needed in order for these interventions to be successful.
KeywordsDementia Care homes Everyday sounds Eating experience Research through design
We would like to thank the care staff and participants at Archipel for facilitating this study and for their cooperation. Moreover, we would like to thank Rens Brankaert, Berry Eggen, Saskia Bakker and Harm van Essen for their feedback and input.
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