Digital media like digital music, video and images can trigger memories for people with dementia. Especially material from the past, ie. from a period that is still prevailing in people with dementia's memories, can be used, for instance in reminiscence sessions with caregivers and support communication of people with dementia. In this project we originally aimed for creating objects that people with dementia could use themselves and therefore housed the media in an old TV set and programmed an intuitive remote control to access videos from the past decades (starting from the 50s). This TV set was used, e.g. in dementia support groups. However, the need for a more personalized tool that could be used with care home residents and easily moved around became apparent.
Therefor, we developed an easy-to-use mobile app for caregivers to access, structure, share and present media to people with dementia in single or group sessions. The development was done in cooperation with the dementia care service center of Bielefeld in a user-centred design process grounded in focus groups and field studies.
The final result is an Android Application that is capable of viewing four different media types: Music plus lyrics, texts, videos and pictures plus additional information. Media is arranged in topics and can be either generic and accessible for the public or personalized and restricted to individuals. The design included a dementia-friendly presentation platform and an easy-to-access platform for the caregivers to manage the different media types. The media itself is stored on a tiny local server in the care home, syncing the content between multiple tablet devices and enabling the management of the media via a web-interface.
Project management: Alina Huldtgren, Fabian Mertl