In order to actively involve people living with dementia in the development of meaningful technologies, there is a need for more detailed insights on methodological considerations necessary.
Technology is often suggested as a mean to accomplish support in independence and well-being in everyday life of people with dementia. The risk of inappropriate, unappealing, or less usable technology is of course higher as a designer’s perceptions and competences diverge farther from those of the user. This gap is probably wider when designing for users with dementia. This might result in products with a too strong focus on feelings of safety (e.g., monitoring risk), instead of improving the experience of living with dementia itself.
Furthermore, for progressive syndromes, such as dementia, current supportive technologies might not be sufficiently flexible to serve the changing needs of their users. Moreover, there is a great variety within the group ‘people with dementia’, such as differences in demographics (e.g., socioeconomic status) and personality (e.g., acceptance of the diagnosis), but also due to the diversity of specific diseases, each with different behavioral, cognitive, and emotional consequences. In itself, this diversity already creates a great challenge for researchers and developers aiming to design technologies that people with dementia truly want and are able to use. It is, therefore, vital to have extensive insight in the dynamic needs, wishes, and abilities of people with dementia.
The research in this PhD study aims at achieving a more complete understanding of how people with dementia can have an active role in the different phases of development of new supportive technologies. In different evaluations of design research practices with people with dementia, the existing body of knowledge on (co-) design methodologies is further updated and expanded.
Suijkerbuijk, S., Nap, H. H., Cornelisse, L., IJsselsteijn, W. A., De Kort, Y. A., & Minkman, M. (2019). Active involvement of people with dementia: a systematic review of studies developing supportive technologies. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 69(4), 1041-1065. https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad190050
Suijkerbuijk, S., Brankaert, R., De Kort, Y. A., Snaphaan, L. J., & Den Ouden, E. (2015). Seeing the first-person perspective in dementia: A qualitative personal evaluation game to evaluate assistive technology for people affected by dementia in the home context. Interacting with Computers, 27(1), 47-59.
Brankaert, R., & Suijkerbuijk, S. (2019). Outdoor life and technology with dementia. In Using technology in dementia care: a guide to technology solutions for everyday living, 53-64.
Suijkerbuijk, S., Nap, H. H., & Minkman, M. (2020). Supportive Technologies for People with Dementia: A Closer Look into an Interdisciplinary Field. In HCI and Design in the Context of Dementia (pp. 335-346). Springer, Cham.
Suijkerbuijk, S. 2018. Exploring the design space for appropriate tactile stimulation for people with dementia living in a care facility. Proceedings of Dementia Lab 2018, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Paper 12. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.9936359