Designing a multimedia conversation aid for reminiscence therapy in dementia care environments

Gary Gowans, Jim Campbell, Norm Alm, Richard Dye, Arlene Astell, Maggie Ellis

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    99 Citations (Scopus)


    As world populations grow older the incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementia related illnesses increases (approximately 18 million sufferers worldwide). One particularly devastating effect of AD is the loss of short-term memory, which radically impairs the sufferer's ability to communicate. People with dementia, however, often retain a facility for long-term memory that can function strongly given appropriate stimulation. Project CIRCA (Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid), utilizes interactive multimedia (including audio, video, animation and QuickTime VR environments) to stimulate long-term memory to prompt verbal and non-verbal communication. We will demonstrate how - through good design practice, interdisciplinary collaboration and a user-centred approach to design - we can invest reminiscence therapy with technology-led solutions to assist our participating test groups (30+ people with dementia and 40 carers) in conversational settings. We will demonstrate how this adaptable, expansive, immediate and engaging tool can contribute significantly to 'quality of life' in dementia care environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHI EA '04
    Subtitle of host publicationCHI '04 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    EditorsElizabeth Dykstra-Erickson, Manfred Tscheligi
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)1581137036
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventCHI 2004 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Vienna, Austria
    Duration: 24 Apr 200429 Apr 2004


    ConferenceCHI 2004 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Abbreviated titleCHI 2004
    Internet address


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