FreeWalker increases self-reliance in dementia

Integrating existing AAL (Active & Assisted Living) technologies into one flexible and practical solution that allows people with dementia to go outside independently. That is the goal of the European FreeWalker project which has recently started.

Together with 8 partners in the FreeWalker project, we explore how to increase the freedom of movement and self-reliance of people with dementia, in the home situation as well as in a nursing home. This is important because the current GPS and localization systems often work either indoors or outdoors and fail to meet the changing needs of people with dementia.

Making the most of international opportunities

The combination of techniques therefore yields a lot of benefits. For example the integration of GPS localization, navigation, fall detection and available information on the daily schedule or habits of the person with dementia. Thanks to the international scope of this project, we can make optimal use of existing possibilities.

More freedom for people with dementia

FreeWalker behaves like a learning system that keeps track of the travel behaviour of the user. In this way, dynamic ‘living circles’ are developed. A ‘living circle’ is a safe zone for the person with dementia. When the user enters outside this ‘living circle’ in case of an unexpected event, the system automatically sends a message to relatives, the healthcare professional or the user himself. With this solution, FreeWalker encourages people with dementia to remain more active and mentally healthy by eliminating the fear of going out, also among caregivers.

FreeWalker will be tested with more than 150 people with dementia in the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

About AAL

The goal of the AAL projects is to enable seniors to live longer independently at home with a pleasant and active lifestyle. We work on 5 European projects. Read more about the AAL-projects.

Contact for this project:
Henk Herman