What do information and communication technologies offer for people with dementia and their caregivers? An application-oriented workshop.

Background

Demographic change leads to a continuously growing share of older people in the total population. This development is accompanied by an increase in the number of people affected by dementia. According to current estimates, 130.000 people are living with dementia in Austria - a number that is expected to double by 2050 [1].

The majority of persons with dementia are provided care in their own homes by family members or relatives. Persons with dementia are confronted with a progressive loss of memory, changes in their perception and behavior as well as problems in independently performing everyday tasks. Caring for persons with dementia is a difficult task for all those involved, whether they are family members or professional caregivers. In many cases, the changed behavior of persons with dementia overburdens those who care for them, which can lead to stress, feelings of helplessness, and even caregiver burnout.

The Austrian Dementia Strategy “Living well with dementia” provides a framework of objectives and recommendations for taking action to improve the lives of persons with dementia as well as their families and caregivers. As means for achieving its objectives, the importance of participatory research and development approaches, i.e. an active involvement of all relevant stakeholders, is stressed within this strategy [2]. Objectives like ensuring the participation and self-determination of those affected and providing information offerings tailored to the target group of informal caregivers can be supported by the application of modern information and communication technologies (ICT). Also within the current working programme of the Austrian government, the development of assistive technologies is mentioned as important measure for improving the quality of life of people in need of care [3].

In recent years, many national and European research projects have been launched, aiming at developing ICT-based solutions for persons with dementia or their caregivers. This workshop will provide an overview of the possibilities of ICT-based systems to support persons with dementia and their caregivers in their daily lives. This workshop is aimed at caregivers, representatives of care organizations and other people that are in contact with persons with dementia. In addition, this workshop will also support an active exchange of experiences related to the development of innovative solutions for persons with dementia as well as the interdisciplinary exchange with the eHealth community.

1) Österreichischer Demenzbericht 2014 (Austrian Dementia Report 2014), https://www.bmgf.gv.at/home/Gesundheit/Krankheiten/Demenz/Oesterreichischer_Demenzbericht
2) Demenzstrategie „Gut leben mit Demenz“ (Dementia Strategy “Living well with dementia”), http://www.demenzstrategie.at
3) Austrian government programme, https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/regierungsdokumente

Agenda

Part 1, 09:00-10:30 – Presentation of solutions and evaluation results

  • An active stakeholder engagement as success factor for new care and support concepts; project iShare (Marcus Borrmann, FH Joanneum Gesellschaft mbH)
  • DEA - supporting informal carers of people with dementia by means of a mobile platform providing personalized therapeutic activities and care suggestions (Franz Werner; FH Campus Wien)
  • The potential of role-play based training approaches for caregivers; project SUCCESS (Beatrix Wais-Zechmann, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)
  • Guiding persons with cognitive challenges in daily living; project DayGuide (Klaus Dittrich, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)
  • Project WAY-KEY, from an initial idea to a solution matching user needs (Naemi Luckner, TU Wien)
  • From research project to AAL product - market introduction of innovative solutions for persons with dementia (Maria Fellner, Lucas Paletta; Joanneum Research)

Part 2, 14:00-15:30 – Discussion on the potential of existing solutions and additional needs

  • Elevator pitches and hands-on-experience with existing solutions
  • Discussion groups on potential of existing and future solution approaches
    • Activation and training
    • Activities of daily living support
    • (Outdoor) mobility
    • Information and training for caregivers
  • Summary and outlook

Organizers

  • Markus Garschall, Klaus Dittrich, Heinrich Garn, Sten Hanke, Beatrix Wais-Zechmann;
    AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • Franz Werner; FH Campus Wien
  • Marcus Borrmann; FH Joanneum Gesellschaft mbH
  • Maria Fellner, Lucas Paletta; Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
  • Fares Kayali, Naemi Luckner, Katharina Werner; TU Wien

This workshop is co-organized by the Austrian innovation platform AAL Austria (http://www.aal.at).