Closer to nature: Multi-sensory engagement in interactive nature experience for seniors with dementia

  • Closer to nature: Multi-sensory engagement in interactive nature experience for seniors with dementia
Feng, Y., Yu, S., Van De Mortel, D., Barakova, E., Rauterberg, M. & Hu, J. 21 apr 2018 Proceedings of Chinese CHI 2018 - 6th International Symposium of Chinese CHI, ChineseCHI 2018. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, Vol. Part F137135, p49-56.

Abstract:

People with dementia experience gradually diminished functional abilities caused by this disease. Declined cognitive functioning, increased difficulties in mobility, loss of memory and the lack of inner motivation provides inevitable challenges in engaging this group of people in activities. In this paper, we elaborate on the possibilities of utilizing an iterative installation design, based on the original prototype of Closer to Nature for improving quality of life of people with dementia in Long-Term Care. The installation was built as a permanent part of the living environment in a Dutch nursing home with the purpose of long-term use. User evaluation in a real-life setting was conducted with 15 residents, 4 family members, and 2 professional caregivers. Preliminary user feedback was gathered through interviews and showed sufficient positive evidence of enhanced engagement. Additionally, a new design concept developed upon insights from the user evaluation is introduced which utilizes a plaster goat covered with sensors for initiating interactions. Implications and future studies of the designs are proposed.

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