Assistive living technology for persons with dementia

This knowledge summary consolidates information about the use of various active assistiveliving solutions (welfare technology) for individuals living with dementia, and addresses thefollowing questions:

  • What are the professional, legal, and policy guidelines for the use of welfare technology for patients with dementia in municipal health and care services?
  • What does research say about the use of welfare technology for individuals with dementia?
  • What experience has been gained from the testing of such technology in the
Publisert 22. juni 2023 | Sist oppdatert 25. mars 2024
Norwegian municipal health service, and what challenges have been identified?Dementia is a collective term for a range of syndromes caused by diseases and brain injuries that affect cognitive abilities in daily life. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 people in Norway, including those with age-related mild cognitive impairment (MCI), are living with dementia. Many of these individuals rely on municipal health and care services. To address the significant societal challenges posed by an ageing population with an increasing number of people living with dementia, both the government and municipalities are exploring how widespread use of technology can support these services. Consequently, numerous solutions have been adopted by municipalities over the past decade to provide everyday support for individuals living with dementia. Extensive innovation work is also underway for new digital solutions.
The conclusion of this knowledge summary, based on 58 scientific articles, is that welfare technology can, under certain conditions, be a valuable supplement for coping with challenges in daily life for individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment. However, welfare technology solutions are complex interventions. National and international research, as well as practical knowledge acquired through development work in the Norwegian municipal health service, indicate that several factors must be in place to successfully use technology to support this target group. These factors are partly related to the characteristics of individual technologies, including the user experience they offer and how they interact with other technologies. Additionally, organisational factors related to the implementation of the technology are crucial. Successful interaction between people and welfare technology depends on professional assessments of the usage context in which the technology is employed,including the user’s cognitive, physical, and social resources. It is particularly important for formal and informal caregivers to collaborate in placing the user, and their right to participation, at the centre. However, current healthcare professionals, users, and their families have access to more knowledge and resources regarding welfare technology for individuals with dementia than was available just a few years ago. This knowledge summary identifies known barriers, facilitators, and tools available today when working practically with welfare technology for this user group.