Living with dementia is challenging, not only for the person with the disease but also for those tasked with looking after them. One of the main challenges facing care givers and practitioners is how to anticipate and prepare for the patient’s needs as the disease progresses. Often, the progression of a person’s condition is dependent on their health history and lifestyle, and not everyone has the same needs as they move through the various stages.
For more than a decade, the EU Active Assisted Living Programme (AAL) has been funding a number of technology driven innovations to promote healthy ageing and improve the daily lives of dementia patients. Vilans participates in many of these projects which include care solutions based on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and digital technology. These tools help improve social contact, home care and rehabilitation, and are easing the burden on care givers by providing services such as monitoring and entertainment.
An AAL bundle for dementia care
Vilans is taking the next logical step in setting up a collaborative eco-system for dementia care by coordinating a collective effort to set up an online platform of care solutions based on best practices and proven AAL solutions. The project, known as HAAL (Healthy Ageing Eco-system for People with Dementia) will run from May 2021 to 2023. It will test and assess the technologies with participation from persons living with dementia as well as their family members and care professionals. Vilans Senior Researcher, Henk Herman Nap is HAAL’s project manager and coordinator: “The intention is to come up with a bundle that matches the needs and wishes of the target groups, try it out in a realistic setting and arrive at a first concept for an online platform”.
People are the focus
Nap: “The involvement of all stakeholders throughout the project is essential. People with dementia, their relatives and the care professionals are the focal point for the testing, the developments and the design. It is all about co-creation, sharing best practices and the development of an AI based dashboard.”
Other project partners from the Netherlands are the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, and care organisations; Amstelring, Cordaan and Compaan. The consortium also includes Taiwan, Italy, Denmark and Austria. The partners will share knowledge, exchange business opportunities, and help find the best dementia care solutions suited to the different cultures and needs.