17 February 2020
National Lottery Community Fund, William Grant Foundation, Life Changes Trust
The William Grant Foundation and the Life Changes Trust are pleased to publish this report, which has two elements:
◗ a literature review that examines available academic evidence on the effectiveness of assistive technology devices for people with dementia and carers living in the community; and
◗ feedback from focus groups that helps us better understand the views of carers and people with dementia on assistive technology.
Scotland has a Technology Charter for People with Dementia which calls for health and social care to be delivered in a way that incorporates and promotes the use of technology. The Charter seeks to raise awareness of how technology can enhance lives, promote independence and complement other forms of support.
The active promotion of any technology should have a firm evidence base – the existing evidence base could be stronger. Everyone with dementia and every carer is different; the need for technology that can be personalised is key, as is access to support when needed. There are enormous possibilities for diverse technology that could enhance lives but, to release this potential, designers need to develop technology with those who are likely to use it. Suppliers should provide better support to those who purchase it, and people need somewhere local where they can go to access face to face help when required.
In the UK the number of people living with dementia has been estimated at around eight hundred and fifty thousand. Considering the ageing population, it is not surprising this total figure is predicted to more than double, to around two million, by 2051.1 In Scotland an estimated 90,000 people have dementia. Around 3,200 of these people are under the age of 65.2 Taking these figures into account there will likely be further demands made of professional services and informal carers to support people with dementia. Research shows there are currently many unmet needs in this group: coping with one’s disabilities, the need to function normally and to participate in activities.
The report is attached below: