Title: New forms of information and communication technology (ICT) and the potential to facilitate social and leisure activity for people living with dementia

Authors: Sarah Kate Smith; Gail A. Mountain

Addresses: School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield, Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield, S1 4DA, UK ' School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield, Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield, S1 4DA, UK

Abstract: This review article is concerned with the potential of technology for improving outcomes for people with dementia by increasing quality of life, extending residence at home and reducing the burden of informal caregivers. Traditionally, research has focused on assistive technologies that can address issues of safety and security as well as providing carer reassurance. Important as these aspects are, little attention has been given to the potential of technology, specifically ICT, in facilitating enjoyable social and leisure activity. It has been identified that the most common unmet need for this population is enjoyable activity to engage with on a daily basis and the potential of ICT in meeting this requirement will be considered. However, context can impact the use of ICT by people with dementia which can be both considerable and multifaceted, ranging from memory decline to lack of confidence and support. These barriers pose a challenge that will be addressed so that in common with the rest of society, people with dementia may experience the benefits of technology and ICT for social and leisure purposes.

Keywords: dementia; Alzheimer's disease; assistive technology; information and communications technology; ICT; information technology; social activity; leisure activity; enjoyment; quality of life; home residence; safety; security; carer reassurance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCIH.2012.051810

International Journal of Computers in Healthcare, 2012 Vol.1 No.4, pp.332 - 345

Published online: 30 Jan 2013 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article