Smart Home as a Care Service

How Internet of Things improve people with dementia’s life in home?

Smart Home

“How technologies can support people with dementia who live alone to stay as safe and happy as possible?”

Ideation and Mind map

Some of the projects are much more meaningful if they come from personal experience. This project based on my experience during Easter holiday. When I was in my home in Korea, I saw my grandmother who is dementia patient and lives alone in her house couldn’t recognise which one is toothpaste and toothbrush. I want my grandmother lives as happy as possible. In addition, I want to find a better way how can my mother help her more effectively. And I think current and future technologies such as AR, 5G, IoT AI and machine learning can support this. In this proposal, I will introduce my approach to this topic as a service design project for people with dementia who live alone but need support from their families, friends, volunteers, and carers.

The number of people with dementia is growing up, and we should guarantee rest of their life as happy as possible. In dementia UK report, the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051. And Compared to the 2007 estimates, the current prevalence consensus found there are slightly more people with dementia in the youngest (65 to 69) and oldest (90+) age bands and slightly fewer in the intermediate age groups.

The number of people estimated to be living with dementia

Being diagnosed with dementia doesn’t mean they have to give up their independence. About one-third of all people with dementia live on their own. 85 percent of people would want to stay living at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia. According to the article from website ‘Unforgettable’, a third of the general public wouldn’t know where to find information about how to make their home suitable.

Why should they remain their independent life? The current public policy aims to enable people with care and support needs, including people with dementia, to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. The Society believes that people with dementia who want to remain in their own homes should be supported to do so for as long as possible.

Living on Your Own with Alzheimer’s Infographic, Alzheimer’s Association Northern California and Northern Nevada

What kind of problem are they facing? They are facing social isolation, loneliness, safety, daily living, food, mobile, medication, etc. Also, based on personal experience, they can’t distinguish specific products such as towel, toothpaste, and spoon. To prevent loss of memories, some activities that using brain such as solving mathematics questions is helpful. Taking pills in proper time is the most important thing.

Dementia makes everyday tasks more difficult, especially as it progresses. The most serious one is losing memories. According to Alzheimer society, they advised that there are lots of things we can do to help make everyday activities manageable. In daily life, they forget to take a medication, their schedule, lock up the door, the things they mostly used, places and knowledge. So, people who live alone, they may have to develop particular ways of remembering to take your medication or leave out the bins and the other things. Also, Alzheimer society said that supporting with technologies will improve their life more.

Based on the user research, the number of population with dementia patients is getting an increase. People with dementia who live alone are facing difficulties in everyday tasks in their home which are caused by losing memories. The way to prevent this, continuously remind things which they always used and try to use their brain more will be the critical sector. With some supporting technologies can help this more efficiently.

So, how technologies can support people with dementia who live alone to stay as safe and happy as possible?” and which technology will be suitable? One article form business insider said that this “digital generation,” moreover, isn’t just kids anymore. Slowly but surely, digital consumers are taking over the coveted media demographics. These means remains opportunities for adults (65+) are shifting to the digital generation.

A home environment will feel safe and familiar to dementia patients. I think Home Internet of Things will be the key solution. The solution will not be the smartphone app or website. Because through the previous project which was designed strength based screening tool for adults, I knew most of the adults don’t use smartphone and internet. Also, in my grandmother’s house, there’s no smartphones and internets.

Smart Home is the key for supporting their everyday tasks in home.

Based on the research, as presenting major project proposal, here’s my presentation below.

My major project is about Smart Home Service for dementia patients who live alone.

Dementia is a global issue. And there is no treatment to stop dementia, however, with some support, we can make their life better. My project is for them.

The reason why I chose this topic is an episode in Korea related to my grandmother who is in an early stage of dementia. During the Easter holiday, I was in my home and I saw my grandmother couldn’t recognise some daily stuff such as toothpaste, tooth brush and towels.

And, I questioned ‘How can she keep living alone while she has some difficulties to do everyday tasks?’ Because she lives alone in her own house for decades even until now. And I thought it would be good to plan a service for helping people in the same situation as her.

Based on the research, there are many people around the world like her. We can see how people with dementia live, through this documentary video made by BBC.

Likewise, Dementia makes everyday tasks more difficult, especially as it progresses.

In daily life, they couldn’t recognise the things they mostly used, forget to take a medication and their schedules. And also they need some help with their everyday task.

The number of people with dementia is growing up. As you can see, the number of people with dementia across the world is predicted to increase dramatically, as the global population ages. So I think the more and more people will need this kind of care service.

The number of people estimated to be living with dementia globally is 44 million, and it is thought that this number will triple by 2050.

However, Being diagnosed with dementia doesn’t mean they have to give up their independence.

About one-third of all people with dementia live on their own. And 85 percent of people would want to stay living at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia.

Technologies can support Their needs for independent life. And improve their difficulties in an everyday task.

So, this service can improve patients life more efficiently. Also, not only patients but also their carers.

I framed by the challenge as an HMW question for setting me up for an innovative solution.

<How can technology support people with dementia who live alone to stay as safe and happy as possible?>

I’m a service experience designer who loves innovative technology, human-centred goodness and collaborative work. Currently based in Seoul, South Korea.