Caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenging task. There are assistive technologies to help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers; however, many of these are not very useful. The University of Toronto is conducting a study, funded by the Alzheimer Society of Canada, to better understand the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers — and what would make technologies more useful to them.
Bing Ye, Project Coordinator at the Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab in Toronto explains, “Assistive technology is defined as any item or piece of equipment that can help a person with a physical, cognitive, or sensory disability complete various tasks and activities. It can be categorized as high-tech and low-tech devices.”
“In our study we are focusing on Intelligent Assistive Technologies (IAT), such as smart home systems. An example could be a device that automatically recognizes that a person with dementia has forgotten to take his or her medication and then provides that person with a reminder to do so.”
“The results from the survey are expected to help us determine the needs of caregivers and people with dementia for such technologies, and how different social factors, such as age, education and cultural backgrounds may impact their needs for assistive technologies. By understanding the needs of caregivers who are caring for people with dementia, it can help technology developers better build and design assistive technologies in the near future so that the technologies can become more usable for users.”
IATSL is currently looking for unpaid (family and/or friends) caregivers to share their experiences with using technology to help care for someone with Alzheimer’s through an online survey. The survey should take about 30 minutes to complete.
If you are an unpaid (family and/or friends) caregiver who:
1) is currently taking care of people with Alzheimer’s disease;
2) provides care at least 7 hours/week, and;
3) can speak, listen and write English or French fluently.
You can complete the survey online by visiting: www.iatslsurvey.org
The survey can also be completed through mail, over the phone, or in person (if you are in the Greater Toronto Area). To choose one of these options, please contact the study’s research coordinator, Bing Ye, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (416) 597-3422 ext: 7910 or 1 (888) 220-0280.