Smart home technology has proven useful in assisting with care for older people. However, it’s exact utility is not yet understood in cases of dementia. We interviewed three individuals involved in the care of their older relative with dementia who use Billy, a home monitoring technology for monitoring the activities of older people, to learn about the value it provided.
First, we interviewed a woman caring for her godmother, who has dementia and lives alone. She discussed the tracked events with her godmother to exercise her memory.
The second case is related to a new diagnosis of dementia. An older person presented with complaints of nocturia and difficulty sleeping. After installing Billy, behavioural data revealed that he was in fact not going to the bathroom at night, ultimately leading to a dementia diagnosis.
Lastly, an older person with dementia used the app to track his own activities. He reported feeling validated when completing parts of his routine and endorsed connectedness with technology.
Because dementia can manifest with different behaviours and levels of impairment, a single home monitoring solution does not exist. Rather one should utilise this technology as part of a thorough care plan to realise its benefits.