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Participatory Research to Design a Novel Telehealth System to Support the Night-Time Needs of People with Dementia: NOCTURNAL

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Author(s): Suzanne Martin | Juan Carlos Augusto | Paul McCullagh | William Carswell | Huiru Zheng | Haiying Wang | Jonathan Wallace | Maurice Mulvenna

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601

Volume: 10;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 6764;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: dementia | ambient assisted living | participatory design

ABSTRACT
Strategies to support people living with dementia are broad in scope, proposing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions as part of the care pathway. Assistive technologies form part of this offering as both stand-alone devices to support particular tasks and the more complex offering of the “smart home” to underpin ambient assisted living. This paper presents a technology-based system, which expands on the smart home architecture, orientated to support people with daily living. The system, NOCTURNAL, was developed by working directly with people who had dementia, and their carers using qualitative research methods. The research focused primarily on the nighttime needs of people living with dementia in real home settings. Eight people with dementia had the final prototype system installed for a three month evaluation at home. Disturbed sleep patterns, night-time wandering were a focus of this research not only in terms of detection by commercially available technology but also exploring if automated music, light and visual personalized photographs would be soothing to participants during the hours of darkness. The NOCTURNAL platform and associated services was informed by strong user engagement of people with dementia and the service providers who care for them. NOCTURNAL emerged as a holistic service offering a personalised therapeutic aspect with interactive capabilities.
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