A Tailored Smart Home for Dementia Care
Journal: Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized ComputingAbstract:
Dementia refers to a group of chronic conditions that cause the permanent and gradual cognitive decline. Therefore, a Person with Dementia (PwD) requires constant care from various classes of caregivers.
The care costs of PwDs bear a tremendous burden on healthcare systems around the world. It is commonly accepted that utilising Smart Homes (SH), as an instance of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technologies, can facilitate the care, and consequently improve the quality of PwDs well-being. Nevertheless, most of the existing platforms assume dementia care is a straight application of standard SH technology without accommodating the specific requirements of dementia care.
A consequence of this approach is the inadequacy and unacceptability of generic SH systems in the context of dementia care. Contrary to most of the existing SH systems proposed for dementia care, this study considers the specific requirements of PwDs and their care circle in all development steps of an SH. In addition, it investigates how utilising novel design and computing approaches can enhance the quality of SHs for dementia care. To do so, the requirements of dementia care stakeholders are collected, analysed and reflected on in an SH system design. Extensions and adaptation of existing frameworks and technologies are proposed to implement a prototype based on the resulting design.
Finally, thorough evaluations and validation of the prototype are carried out. The evaluations by a group of stakeholders show the suitability of the proposed methodology and consequently the resulting prototypes for reducing dementia care difficulties as well as its potential for deployment in the real-world environment.