eDEM-Connect:

Development of a communication and service platform for people caring for family members with dementia


In the project "eDEM-Connect"§, we are researching how people caring for family members suffering from dementia, who are confronted with agitation, can be supported by technical solutions. The three-year project aims to establish and deliver a chatbot-based communication and service platform. It is intended to provide the target group with individualized, appropriate information, coping and handling strategies, and support offers to assist them in their care process.

 



The challenge

Caring for people with dementia in the home environment is mainly organized and carried out by family members. Here the key challenge is dealing with agitation, which is one of the most common and persistent forms of behavioral change. Agitation is one of the biggest stress factors for family members and one of the most common causes for instability in home care. This often results in moving to a facility for the elderly.

Most families in these situations provide care without knowledge about available management options. They are often left to their own devices with the prevention and management of challenging behaviors. Various support approaches and coping strategies are required to ensure the stability of the care arrangement and to make the agitated behavior of dementia easier to manage. International reviews have shown that psychosocial intervention can have a lasting positive influence on the challenging behavior of people with dementia.

 

Our contribution

Fraunhofer ISST is developing the chat bot in close cooperation with the University of Rostock. The logic, algorithms, and user interface are being implemented by Fraunhofer ISST. The University of Rostock is contributing the required ontology. Privacy by design principles are also being implemented by Fraunhofer ISST. To ensure data protection, data security, and the comprehensibility of these for the user, these topics are introduced to users from the outset. The architecture ensures that users are informed about data processing (consent), the data are transmitted securely (in encrypted form), and relating them to a specific person is excluded, for instance through pseudonymization.

 

Results

The developed platform leads to a stabilization of the care arrangement, making it easier to care for and interact with people suffering from dementia. It provides relief for family members, supplies them with the required knowledge and corresponding support approaches, and has a positive influence on the challenging behavior of the person with dementia over the long term.

 

Partners

  • Witten/Herdecke University
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V., Witten site
  • University of Rostock, Chair of Mobile Multimedia Information Systems (MMIS)
  • Lutheran University of Applied Sciences Nuremberg, Institute for Nursing Research, Gerontology and Ethics+
  • Ergosign GmbH
  • YOUSE GmbH

 

Funding

  • Subsidized by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • Project number: 16SV8334
  • Term: 02/2020-01/2023