Designing a multimedia conversation aid for reminiscence therapy in dementia care environments

Gary Gowans*, Richard Dye, Jim Campbell, Arlene Astell, Norm Alm, Maggie Ellis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


As world populations grow older the incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementia related illnesses increases (approximately 18 million sufferers worldwide). One particularly devastating effect of AD is the loss of short-term memory, which radically impairs the sufferer's ability to communicate. People with dementia, however, often retain a facility for long-term memory that can function strongly given appropriate stimulation. Project CIRCA (Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid), utilizes interactive multimedia (including audio, video, animation and QuickTime VR environments) to stimulate long-term memory to prompt verbal and non-verbal communication. We will demonstrate how - through good design practice, interdisciplinary collaboration and a user-centred approach to design - we can invest reminiscence therapy with technology-led solutions to assist our participating test groups (30+ people with dementia and 40 carers) in conversational settings. We will demonstrate how this adaptable, expansive, immediate and engaging tool can contribute significantly to 'quality of life' in dementia care environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExtended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2004
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2004 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 24 Apr 200429 Apr 2004

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


ConferenceConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2004

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