Assistive Technology Addressing Safety Issues in Dementia: A Scoping Review

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Abstract

Safety is an issue for older adults with dementia because they are at risk for various incidents. Intelligent assistive technology (IAT) may mitigate risks while promoting independence and reducing the impact on the caregiver of supporting a relative with dementia. The aim of this scoping review was to describe IATs and to identify factors to consider when selecting one. A systematic search was performed of the scientific and gray literature published between 2000 and 2015. A total of 31 sources were included. Four types of IATs were identified as addressing safety issues in dementia: monitoring technologies, tracking and tagging technologies, smart homes, and cognitive orthoses. Characteristics of the device and ethical considerations emerged as key factors to consider when selecting one. IATs yield promising results but pose various challenges, such as adapting to the evolution of dementia. Further research on their actual impact is needed.

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