Dementia and technology
A study of technology interventions in the healthcare for dementia patients and their caregivers.
Purpose: Explore the possibilities for technology interventions for dementia to make founded decisions for the use of technology in the healthcare.
Methods: Inventarisation of implemented and evaluated international and national studies with technology for dementia patients and their caregivers. Three categories of technology are used in this inventarisation: help with symptoms of dementia, social contact and company for the dementia patient, and health monitoring and safety.
Results: Eighteen international and eight national studies are included. The first results of technology for dementia patients look promising. Evidence exists for significant improvements as to the quality of life and effects on behaviour (such as less falling down). The caregivers and healthcare professionals are satisfied with the usability of the technology. The purchase and user costs however, are often too high. The work satisfaction of healthcare professionals in relation to the use of technology has not been explored much.
Conclusion: Although technology can improve the ability to cope with certain consequences of dementia, the effects of technology for dementia patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals has not been extensively studied,. Further research will focus on effects of technology for people with dementia and their caregivers as to their quality of life, feeling of safety and work satisfaction, respectively.
Headwords: Technology, Telehealth, dementia patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals