What do we know about technologies for dementia-related wandering? A scoping review: Examen de la portée

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Abstract

Background.

Occupational therapists use technologies to manage wandering-related risks to promote safety and independence among individuals with dementia living in the community.

Purpose.

The purpose of this review was to examine types of technologies used to manage wandering behaviour.

Method.

Using a modification of Arksey and O’Malley’s methodology, we systematically searched peer-reviewed and grey literature on technologies used in home or supportive care environments for persons with dementia at risk for wandering. Data from the studies were analyzed descriptively.

Findings.

The literature described 83 technologies. Nineteen devices were clinically tested. Interventions ranged from alarm products to mobile locator devices. Benefits included reductions in risk and caregiver burden.

Implications.

Occupational therapy strategies include technologies to enhance function in persons with dementia. Technologies can also reduce risks of wandering and should be affordable. Ethical issues of the use of technology must be addressed. More research is needed to increase levels of evidence.

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