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Coping with dementia

-An explorative study into everyday activities and the perception of independence

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The main objective for this thesis is to improve the quality of life for people with dementia through a strengthened perception of independence. Based on dementia care practices, I explore participatory design methodologies suited for people with dementia. Furthermore the design and evaluation of a digital solution, that can strengthen the perception of independence and enhance the quality of life is presented. Through an ethnographic approach I have observed and interacted, with people having dementia, in activity centers specialized in dementia care in Copenhagen. I have conducted empathic interviews with participants at the Klarahus activity center and in the Amager activity center for people with dementia. The collected recordings and my personal observations provide the foundation for the design of a digital solution. The digital solution was evaluated with Ole, a participant from the Klarahus activity center. The digital solution for supporting and enhancing the perception of independence among people with dementia is a wayfinding tool using Augmented Reality with pictures and also a digital reminiscence therapy tool using picture to help user recall what they have been doing during the day. The iterative evaluations conducted with Ole suggest that the use of the developed assistive tool is applicable but would require an introductory training program.

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