Nightwandering commonly affect persons with dementia. Due to disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle, leads to various side effects such as increased drowsiness and dependence on caretakers.
It has been shown that an elongated afternoon nap could lead to increased night wandering among persons with dementia. In order to provide activation in the afternoon, the project aims at providing sensory stimulation by means of a tactile apron.
The apron slowly induces the person to touch the cloth tiles by providing reminiscence as an experience. In this way, the product provides multi-sensory stimulation through touch, visual and auditory stimuli and activating them during the afternoon sessions with the caretaker.
Tactile apron for persons with dementia
Advanced Concept Design - Videography - Concept Generation - Visualization - UI/UX Design - Textile Prototyping
Premier Pro - Photoshop - Figma - Arduino C Programming
Complete Concept Development Process
Observation Research Studies
Research Through Design - User Experience Journey -Observation Studies - Premo for emotional measurement
The focus of this research has been to enhance the equilibrium of equilibrium seekers who are not stimulated in general.
The wanderer persona among persons with dementia is extensively researched and understood by means of caretakers.
Research showed how excessive afternoon naps could trigger sleep disturbances which might lead to night wandering.
To combat this, various daytime activities are planned to engage them which includes following cooking recipes, kneading dough, whisking eggs etc. For those with late stage dementia, sensory activities such as testing cake, smelling eggs are performed. The afternoon slot was crucial for the caretakers to engage the patients.
Life at nursing home
A storyboard was depicted to better understand the context of the afternoon nap for persons with dementia.
This was proceeded with the formulation of the vision.
To understand the emotional states and the overall journey carried out by the users, and to also understand how the caretakers within the nursing homes interact with them on a daily basis, the user journey map was charted out.
This also took into consideration, the highs and lows of the day to better investigate touchpoints to improve.
Observation and Shadowing
Observational studies were carried out at the Dementia care centre at Bieslandhof to understand the context, and the general activities carried out in the afternoon.
In addition to this, certain shadowing techniques were used to understand the painpoints and afternoon activities of the nurses and well being experts as well.
Research Through Design
Owing to the fuzzy nature of the whole process and the difficult user group of people with late stage dementia, it was difficult to follow the Roozenberg approach of analysis, synthesis, simulation, evaluation and decision.
The process was entirely happening in learning loops, where each prototype tested with the user, acted as a form of enquiry reflecting future decisions.
Reminscence was explored as a means for stimulation, the photos achieved a state of activation through personal storytelling
Various tactile stimulations such as zips, buttons, knitwear, and textures such as fur and velvet were used to understand the role of tactile interaction and how they could be prompted towards initiation through touch.
Ultra Rapid Prototyping
This method of prototyping through roleplay was effective in getting more clarity in the interaction of the final concept. As teams, we took on various roles to enact the interaction in different desired ways to understand expressions that would work best.
The concepts were ideated based on the following concept drivers
Should use a combination of music and lights
Should sense the presence of the individual using visual stimuli
Stimuli should change indicating the presence of touch
The product should be appropriate to the nursing home environment
The nurse should be capable of wearing the product to the resident within 6-8 seconds. The product should be usable by the resident while sitting in front of the chair.
Face not shown to provide confidentiality with respect to the participants
These were some of the images from the ergonomic evaluation test conducted with dementia patients. Some improvements with regards to the shape of the apron were suggested by the caretaker which was later added to the design.
Through a series of steps, the well-being experts are guided to chose their resident profile and to customise the apron based on their interests
In this way, the modular tiles help in customising for each individual
thereby cutting down the costs for the nursing homes to introduce Remembrandt to their residents.
Currently touch detection is available through conductive polymers, however the scope could be extended to gesture detection using piezocapacitive stress mats (Sergio et al.2002) so that they are ready for the near future where they could release Remembrandt v1.0, This technology would help provide a better interactive experience for the persons with dementia through the usage of this product.
Using the advancements of flexible OLEDs Kirstein, T. (2013) and weavable electronics and textile batteries (Hamedi et al.2007,2009), coupled with the ability to do gesture and touch detection, Remembrandt could be made more flexible and integrated aiding in the multi-sensory stimulation of the PwD (persons with dementia)
Verbeek, S., Manhaeve, D., & Schrijvers, J. (2016). Triggered by dementia-an experiential training module to teach personcentred care for people with dementia. International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC), 16(6).
de Valk, L., Bekker, T., & Eggen, B. (2015). Designing for social interaction in open-ended play environments. International Journal of Design, 9(1)
Rozendaal, M. C., Boon, B., & Kaptelinin, V. (2019). Objects with intent: Designing everyday things as collaborative partners. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 26(4), 1-33.