Improving the Quality of Life of Individuals with Dementia Using Personal Digital Media

Kanvar Nayer, Selby Coxon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Older populations are prone to chronic degenerative diseases, amongst which dementia, in its various forms, is on a steep rise [1–3]. Dementia deprives individuals of many cognitive faculties; loss of short-term memory and agitated behaviours are two common manifestations of the disease. Persons with dementia may find themselves depressed, bored, isolated and lonely, leading to behaviours that are challenging for carers to manage. Medication is used as the primary method of treating the symptoms of dementia. More than 40% of people with dementia at aged-care facilities are being prescribed unnecessary medication [4], which leads to reduced well-being and quality of life [5] and, may even accelerate cognitive decline [6]. There is broadening evidence of the efficacy of non-medicinal interventions to alleviate the stressful effects of dementia [7], in particular the positive stimulus of interacting with music and digitally mediated imagery. The challenge presented by these types of intervention is how to make them easily accessible to, and operable by those with cognitive impairment. This chapter describes the research and development of a touchscreen-based interface providing a variety of media experiences from music and photographs to family messages, all capable of being autonomously interacted with by elderly individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations
EditorsAndree Woodcock, Louise Moody, Deana McDonagh, Ajita Jain, Lakhmi C. Jain
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030262921
ISBN (Print)9783030262914
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • improving quality of life
  • people with dementia
  • multimedia system
  • personalised media
  • digital media
  • non-medicinal intervention
  • independence
  • self-reliance
  • reduce staff burden
  • family members
  • dedicated form factor
  • touchscreen
  • infra-red technology
  • information architecture
  • interface design
  • tactile buttons
  • alleviating symptoms of dementia
  • depression
  • boredom
  • loneliness
  • isolation
  • aged-care facility

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