Assistive Technology for Non-Institutional Alzheimer’s Care Settings
Links to Files
University of Baltimore. Division of Science, Information Arts, and Technologies.
University of Baltimore. Master of Science in Interaction Design and Information Architecture.
Citation of Original Publication
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With a considerable number of individuals with Alzheimer’s non-institutionalized in the United States, there is an opportunity to innovate an assistive technology to support those care recipients, their caregivers, and those near to them. The proposed application, Gellah, positions itself as a digital application that serves as a repository for photographs, personally meaningful information, and reminders, that can be used by care recipients, caregiver(s), and others. Such a repository can help reassure, increase calm, entertain, increase confidence, and improve quality of life. The repository provides a space where the care recipient can retain and review information about their own life and about the people and events that matter to them. The proposed application was tested and evaluated using a semi-structured, virtual, qualitative approach. The evaluation focused on the usability of the product design, but it also helped highlight other product considerations (privacy, accessibility, ethical uses) that lend themselves to further research, exploration with implications for other disciplines. The proposed application allows use by both care recipients and caregivers. Based on the results of the study, it is anticipated that future iterations may provide family members and other authorized users the opportunity to contribute information or photographs to the repository. It is also recognized that this application may be helpful in institutional settings. Such expansion would require further analysis into how different roles are defined and managed in order to assure balancing privacy and to avoid burdening caregivers with multiple credentials for a single service. Also, it will be essential to develop an ecosystem that can grow with a care recipient’s Alzheimer’s progression for optimal user value.