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2011 Grants - Mahoney
Context Aware Computing With Motivational Counseling to Enable Dressing
Diane F. Mahoney, Ph.D.
MGH Institute of Health Professions
2011 Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer's Care
As Alzheimer's disease progresses, dressing and undressing become challenging activities for the person with Alzheimer's and family caregivers. Prior research identifies difficulty with dressing as a key behavioral problem that is associated with increased distress among caregivers and the person with Alzheimer's. Efforts to address dementia-related dressing problems have focused on counseling caregivers. Caregivers are asked to learn ways to identify patterns of responses that trigger their family member's frustrations during dressing or undressing.
Diane F. Mahoney, Ph.D., and colleagues seek to develop a more collaborative approach to dressing with the caregiver indirectly overseeing the process. The team proposes to study a technology solution called Development of a Responsive Emotive Sensing System (DRESS) that would detect and respond to an individual's style and guide the dressing event through interactive, sensor-based motivational coaching. DRESS will consist of an integrated constellation of sensors and user interfaces that will be configured according to caregivers' preferences. iIt will improve the understanding of dressing abilities and limitations of the person with Alzheimer's and offer the capacity to adapt motivational coaching to the person's current dementia state to improve their task performance.
Ultimately, the long-term goals would be for the people with Alzheimer's disease to maintain dressing ability longer, provide the caregivers respite time for other activities and lower dressing related distress levels for both persons with Alzheimer's and caregivers.