A Better Visit
Stimulating a positive shared experience for those living with dementia and their guests.
by Dr. Sonja Pedell
Focusing on improving communication avenues for people living with advanced dementia, ‘A Better Visit’ was devised by A/Prof Sonja Pedell and members of her Future Self and Design Living Lab. The project, in collaboration with Dementia Australia and Lifeview Residential Care, developed a number of interactive iPad applications to enhance a dementia patient’s ability to share experiences and converse with any visitors they may have, but with a focus on partners and family members.
The co-design of four applications throughout 2017 has allowed improved, proactive interaction for those residing at Lifeview, where Sonja’s team have been visiting fortnightly over the last year.
“We have a strong emphasis on content creation, that the person with dementia has a feeling of impact and on the interaction – not just passive consumption,” says project lead Sonja Pedell.
The apps utilise a range of sensory stimulants, such as sound (with high levels of contrast), music and imagery to facilitate engagement and conversation, creating a shared experience of the resident and visitor dyad. Some also provide a competitive aspect, allowing users to challenge each other in a comfortable environment.
“It’s very subtle, but people like it, and the visitors enjoy it.”
These apps will be launched by Dementia Australia later in 2018.