The use of digital technologies by people with mild-to-moderate dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic: A positive technology perspective

Catherine V. Talbot*, Pam Briggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing body of research has shown that people with dementia are using digital technologies to enhance lived experience. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new digital opportunities and challenges and so provides a unique opportunity to understand how people with dementia have adapted to this new digital landscape. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 people with dementia and analysed thematically. We generated five themes, showing how participants used digital means to combat the stresses of the pandemic by facilitating social connection, self-actualisation, enhanced well-being and by assisting with activities of daily life. These technologies helped to reduce isolation, provide access to support groups, create opportunities for cognitive stimulation and self-development, and engendered a sense of identity at a time of perceived loss. Despite these benefits, participants also reported challenges regarding cognitive fatigue and usability issues. We recommend that training on how to use digital technologies is co-produced with people with dementia and designers engage with the voices of people with dementia throughout the design process. In turn, this could promote the social connectedness, well-being and self-worth of people with dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number147130122210794
Pages (from-to)1363-1380
Number of pages18
JournalDementia
Volume21
Issue number4
Early online date25 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The use of digital technologies by people with mild-to-moderate dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic: A positive technology perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this