Capturing Meaningful Moments Through Media For Families Living With Dementia
Open Lab looked at ways to create interactive media experiences using photo, audio and 360-degree videos for families living with dementia.
The project took three families on days out and explored how the sensitive capture and curation of digital media can help to keep the experience alive for participants with dementia who might seek to experience such media “in the moment”, in shared social contexts.
Prior works in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in this area have often focused mainly on reminiscence, however through this work Open Lab chose to look at capturing personalised experiences by gaining an understanding of the individual, their ecology of care and placing the individual’s choices at the forefront of engagement.
The days out included lunch, walking by the seaside, engaging with history through museums and tourist guides, and getting to know each other through conversations and sharing with the group. As a family they decided on the places and moments they wanted to capture through the 360-degree cameras and photographs.
It can be difficult for family members to accept and engage in the reality of someone suffering from dementia, as this reality can change in way that conflicts with their own. By designing for supported family moments this can help to validate and promote the feelings of the families living with dementia.
HONOURING THE INDIVIDUALS CHOICE
It is important for family relationships that the individual with dementia should remain an active partner in their own care and make their own choices as much as possible. The media experiences attempted to honour the person’s choices as an individual.
NURTURING CARING RELATIONSHIPS
Our intention was to design media experiences not only for for the person with dementia, but family members too. We found that the rich ways in which the families captured moments can be combined with careful digital media in meaningful ways and can allow them to express themselves whether on their own or with others.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR DESIGNING IMMERSIVE MEDIA IN SENSITIVE SETTINGS
We should consider what it means to design media experiences for realities which may eclipse each other briefly rather than conflict with each other entirely.
Many carers can report high levels of burnout and burden, by targeting carers as research participants worthy of digital interventions focusing on personhood means treating them with respect, and as whole persons, rather than defining them by their roles.
In seeking to design media for people with dementia, we should therefore consider how we represent ageing bodies.
Printer Pals is a receipt-based device to spark discussion for people living with dementia in a care-home setting.
How can older adults make meaningful use of digital technologies and community media?