Development of a multimodal reminder system for older persons in their residential home

Boll, Susanne and Heuten, Wilko and Meyer, Eike Michael and Meis, Markus
Informatics for Health and Social Care
To live a self-determined life at home is uncontroversally a desire of many ageing people. Decreases in motor and mental capabilities, however, frequently make daily activities more difficult for them. Older people often forget tasks and appointments, and decreased mobility can limit their social interaction. In this study, we investigate the way in which technological support can assist in the organisation, structuring and remembering of daily activities. Aiming at assistance seamlessly integrated into a person’s household, we carried out an initial user study to investigate the technology and the kind of desired assistance of such a personal household assistant system should offer. We designed a reminder system for appointments and activities that uses different sounds, light colours or vibration patterns to represent different categories of calendar events such as upcoming tasks and appointments. The evaluation results show a preference for solely acoustic presentations or an acoustic presentation in combination with visual and tactile output. In our future work, we will refine the ambient and interactive presentation and implement and evaluate this technology in residential homes.
12 / 2010
Lower Saxony Research Network Design of Environments for Ageing
Vol. 35 No. 3–4