Not for me without me: co-designing assistive technology with people affected by dementia

Jury, Rebecca
Reay, Stephen
Babbage, Duncan
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Master of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

Dementia is a degenerative disease of the brain that impairs an individual?s memory, language, mood, and logic. With the number of people living with dementia expected to double every twenty years, increasing strain has been placed on care facilities to provide better care. Designers are providing new and exciting products to help improve the lives of people with dementia. However, there is a deficiency of collaboration between designers and people affected by dementia in the design process, due to the symptoms of dementia.

To address this problem, this study explored the feasibility of co-design with people affected by dementia. Six co-design workshops were designed and conducted with a small group of people affected by dementia and a member of their family. Qualitative data was analysed from the process to recruit partners, create a dementia friendly toolkit, and facilitate co-design workshops and user tests with people affected by dementia.

The resulting data helped identify what people with dementia value, give evidence to suggest that people with dementia are able to contribute to the design process, and suggests that co-design can be an empowering and positive experience for people living with dementia.

Co-design , Dementia , Participatory , Assistive technology , Design
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