The Perspectives of Professional Caregivers on Implementing Audio-Based Technology in Residential Dementia Care

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 31;17(17):6333. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17176333.

Abstract

Music and familiar everyday sounds can be meaningful for people with dementia by providing benefits such as evoking memories and emotions or prompting social interactions with caregivers or relatives. Motivated by this potential, researchers and designers are investigating how to leverage these beneficial effects of sound in care environments through audio-based technology. However, there is a gap in the knowledge of how audio-based technology can be successfully implemented within everyday care practice. In this paper, we present the outcome of three participatory workshops with 18 professional caregivers to explore how audio-based technology can add value to existing care processes and activities in residential dementia care. During the participatory workshops, professional caregivers (1) mapped existing care activities; (2) linked findings in research with practice, and (3) designed scenarios for the Vita sound cushion. Care professionals indicate how audio-based technology can support existing care practice by influencing the mood of residents and by supporting social interaction during moments of care, daytime activities, or situational sessions. This study bridges research findings with insights from practice, contributing to a shared understanding of opportunities for embedding audio-based technology in dementia care. These opportunities motivate future research to implement and evaluate audio-based technology in residential dementia care.

Keywords: audio-based technology; care practice; dementia; participatory workshops; professional caregivers; sound; technology in healthcare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't