‘Creating a consumer-driven global community of practice to support action within environmental design with people living with dementia: assistive technology challenges and opportunities’
Recently, five of our members from DAI ED-SiG, including two DAI members, Emily Ong and Dennis Frost, and academics Saskia Kuliga, Natasha Layton and Jacki Liddle, came together to write an article on Assistive Technology for those living with Dementia. The aim of this paper was two-fold: 1) to promote DAI ED-SiG as a consumer-driven global community of practice and reflections; and 2) the importance of dementia enabling design and assistive technology to the lives, autonomy and independence of people living with dementia.
The environment, and assistive technologies as part of this, can play an important role in supporting the participation and wellbeing of people living with dementia. If not considered, environments can be overwhelming and disempowering. Disability approaches including environmental considerations and assistive technology were often not offered routinely with people living with dementia. Concerned by this, dementia advocates aimed to create change in this area.
The Environmental Design-Special Interest Group (ED-SiG) of Dementia Alliance International was led by people with dementia, and developed as an international consumer-driven community of practice bringing together people with different relevant expertise including people with the lived experience of dementia, care partners architecture and design, occupational therapy, rehabilitation and care provision. This practice opinion piece provides an overview of dementia, the need for collaborative practices within practice with people living with dementia, and the considerations of assistive technology, environmental design and the global context.
The reflection provides insights into this international community of practice, with personal reflections of members living with dementia, and benefits and opportunities in considering environmental design and assistive technology from the perspectives of members. This work demonstrates and advocates collaborations that centre the perspectives and expertise of people living with dementia.
Click here to learn more about DAI ED-SiG, and to get involved in the impactful work we are doing.