Monitoring systems in domiciliary settings for someone living with dementia

Katey Twyford 22/02/22 General Housing Topics

I have looked at different systems to help with monitoring for a person living with dementia in their own home.

Can anyone recommend anything that offers surveillance of activity without being intrusive but which at the same time has the ability to switch into a webcam type mode so that if the person is 'stuck' someone can see what is happening and advise them remotely (eg in how to find a TV remote in a living room, and ensure it is being used to change channel).

Any advice or experiences welcome. Many thanks.

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jane Blinco 22/02/22

I've not had experience of the type of system you are looking for or whether there is anything out there but we use Canary Care for activity monitoring, which works really well if you set up the notifications correctly.
There will be issues around ensuring consent and mental capacity should web cam mode be considered and I can potentially see problems where the person would need to stand within a reasonable distance of the camera for the other person to see them to help unless the camera could swivel, and to talk to them there'd need to be some sort of audio link.

Stephen Watters 22/02/22

There was a research project in Bristol some time ago that looked at introducing some technology into the home to help with people who had some cognative impairment or dementia. From memory, I think BRACE dementia research so it might be worth contacting them to see if they can recall any detail and the universtity people who put the tech and analysis systems in place. Good luck :)

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Katey Twyford 23/02/22

Thanks for sharing your experience Jane. It confirms my current views. Good to hear about Canary Care which is one of the systems I have been exploring. It's important that any system is part of an effective response system that maximises the person's independence whilst at the same time minimising potential risks. Good to hear you raising issues of consent and mental capacity - these can be tricky, but not insurmountable. I've found it easier to consider consent and capacity issues by having incremental approach to the idea of introducing a new system, involving the person as much as possible. Thanks again for your reply.

Katey Twyford 24/02/22

Thanks for the link Steve. I've also accessed materials on Assistive technology and telecare to maintain independent living at home for people with dementia including Attilla and Utopia from Dr John Woolham and colleagues. It's giving me food for thought, and I need to digest it all to find the best way forward.