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Emerging roles for telemedicine and smart technologies in dementia care

Authors Bossen A, Kim H, Williams K, Steinhoff A, Strieker M

Received 15 November 2014

Accepted for publication 6 January 2015

Published 23 March 2015 Volume 2015:3 Pages 49—57


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Yelena Yesha

Ann L Bossen,1 Heejung Kim,2,3 Kristine N Williams,1 Andreanna E Steinhoff,2 Molly Strieker1

1University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa City, IA, USA; 2University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City, KS, USA; 3Yonsei University College of Nursing, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Abstract: Demographic aging of the world population contributes to an increase in the number of persons diagnosed with dementia (PWD), with corresponding increases in health care expenditures. In addition, fewer family members are available to care for these individuals. Most care for PWD occurs in the home, and family members caring for PWD frequently suffer negative outcomes related to the stress and burden of observing their loved one's progressive memory and functional decline. Decreases in cognition and self-care also necessitate that the caregiver takes on new roles and responsibilities in care provision. Smart technologies are being developed to support family caregivers of PWD in a variety of ways, including provision of information and support resources online, wayfinding technology to support independent mobility of the PWD, monitoring systems to alert caregivers to changes in the PWD and their environment, navigation devices to track PWD experiencing wandering, and telemedicine and e-health services linking caregivers and PWD with health care providers. This paper will review current uses of these advancing technologies to support care of PWD. Challenges unique to widespread acceptance of technology will be addressed and future directions explored.

Keywords: technology, dementia care, caregiver support

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