Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
there will be a significant challenge for the social care providers to meet their needs when
the illness progresses. Currently, this group of citizens lives in the community and is being
taken care of by their families which exposes them to care stress, social isolation, reduced
employment and in many cases also leading to health deterioration. There are many types of
dementia and for each person the disease develops individually. In general this group of
older adults lacks structure of the day, their abstract thinking is drastically reduced, there
are risks for home incidents from fire or a food forgotten on the cooker or they can get lost
outside their home. All these risks prevent them to live independently and their family care-
givers suffer a lot of stress and reduced quality of life. Their Quality of Life (QOL) can be
maintained or increased and care stress can be reduced if intelligent technology services
give the family care-givers a helping hand to notify about risks in the home or provide
support information to the elderly person (EP) about the current day and time, upcoming
appointments, etc. ISISEMD services have been initially designed for three main end-user
groups - the older adults with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairments, their informal
care-givers (partners, closest family, neighbours) and the formal carers.
The holistic approach of the ISISEMD services has a big potential for a positive impact but
this requires “a smart system” with very high level of autonomous operation and
intelligence of the services so they provide the exact type of home support needed for the
specific dyad “elderly-family care-giver”, with minimum interaction from the elderly and
care-givers part. At the same time, the technology and the services must be “invisible” for
the users and require very little or no user interaction at all.
The major contribution of ISISEMD project is that it aims at improving quality of life of
fragile user groups by offering home support technology services in a holistic way, fulfilling
most of their un-met needs. It involves all relevant end-user groups in the whole process of
design, validation and assessment of the intelligent services in real-life conditions and in
diverse regional settings. In this way it advances the developments one step closer in
understanding the challenges that accompany the process of introducing Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) services to older adults with mild cognitive impairments
living in the community and their care-givers. Last but not least, it shares hands-on
experiences and best practices.
1.3 Chapter outline
The challenges listed above were addressed by introducing intelligence in almost all of the
services, in data and profile management, in the networking and in the integration and
optimisation process. In this chapter we describe the final outcome of 30-month efforts,
presented as follows: Section 2 presents a short overview of ISISEMD services. Section 3
focuses on highlighting the intelligent features in the service functionalities. Section 4
describes how ISISEMD project advances State-of-the-Art for intelligent systems and the
advantages of ISISEMD system in comparison with other systems. Section 5 gives details
how the services were piloted in real-life. Qualitative technical evaluation, service validation
and user evaluation for satisfaction and acceptance were carried out and outcome from
them is presented in Sections 6, 7 and 8 respectively. The positive impact from the use of the
services is depicted with examples of “success stories” and users' statements in Section 9.
The chapter is concluded in Section 10.
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