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Technology and Dementia - Evidence and Learning


In October 2020, the Life Changes Trust hosted an online learning event called ‘Dementia: A Whole Life Approach – Technology and Dementia’.

This webinar looked at existing and emerging technology, and how this can assist people living with dementia and family carers to live more independently and with more choice. 

Technology can be small and simple or it can be more ‘whole life’ – for example, using Alexa to help carry out every-day tasks.  

At this event, we heard about:

  • the views of carers and people with dementia on assistive technology 
  • the new ADAM tool, a free service which helps you to find technology products tailored to your needs and preferences 
  • the way in which people living with dementia are using technology and the impact it is having on their lives, as told directly by people with dementia and unpaid carers themselves
  • the Human Rights Charter for Technology and Digital in Social Care

Our Chief Executive Anna Buchanan launched a report which was funded by the William Grant Foundation and produced by the Trust, ‘Dementia and Technology - A Literature Review and Qualitative Study report’.

The report looked at what technology was available to people living with dementia, whether they could easily access or use this technology, what technology they were actually already using and how we can improve design and accessibility. The report also asks, is technology one of the key ways forward for supporting people living with dementia and unpaid carers?

You can read the report here

We also produced a summary report - ‘The views of Scottish carers and people with dementia on assistive technology’ 

You can read the summary report here


You can watch our full webinar, or you can just watch some of the presentations, whatever works for you.  

You can watch the full webinar below

We also heard from a couple, Gerry and Moira Murray, who talked us through their journey with using technology. Gerry has a diagnosis of dementia and has had an up and down journey trying to find technology to suit him and Moira (Gerry has a dementia related vision impairment and Moira has a hearing impairment). However, their message is don't give up! 

Watch Gerry and Moira, interviewed by Nicola Cooper from Alzheimer Scotland below

We also showed a short film shown featuring Henry Rankin, Pat Woods and Geordie McGonigal, all of who have a diagnosis of dementia. It's called 'Living and Learning with Dementia'. Pat, Henry and Geordie wanted to show that people who have a diagnosis of dementia can still do SO much, and that they can still learn new skills. 

Watch Henry, Pat and Geordie below

Ron Coleman, from DEEPNESS also joined us to talk about how he uses Alexa to support him.  Ron also has a diagnosis of dementia. 

Watch Ron below

Our Chief Executive Anna Buchanan launched a report which was funded by the William Grant Foundation and produced by the Trust, ‘Dementia and Technology - A Literature Review and Qualitative Study report’.

You can watch Anna Buchanan's presentation on the 'Technology and Dementia' report here

Also, as part of our webinar, Gillian Fyfe, Head of Digital at Alzheimer Scotland introduced us to ADAM, a brand-new online tool which supports families living with dementia to find the right technology for their them. 

You can watch her presentation here

Dr Donald MacAskill from Scottish Care joined us to talk about the importance of considering human rights and ethics in the development and use of technology and digital solutions to care.  

You can watch his presentation here

Although we did not have time to show this film, this is a really important insight into a journey through technology from someone with dementia.  Martin Robertson from Aberdeenshire shares his experiences of Technology and what works best for him with his diagnosis of PCA. He talks about once trying Virtual Reality and reflects on the fact that different types of technology work for people in different ways providing solutions to challenges along the way. Thanks Martin.

Watch Martin Robertson here

And our delegates were able to go into breakout rooms to discover some different types of technology from the Digital Team at Alzheimer Scotland during the Sofa Solutions sessions. 

You can contact us for any more information on technology, or contact Alzheimer Scotland.

Related news:

Playlist for Life has also produced an easy guide to choosing an mp3 player aimed at people with dementia and carers. 

You can download the Guide here

They have also published a full report and infographics sheet which they use to advise technology providers and approach potential digital partners.

You can download the report here

You can download the infographics sheet here

Read more about the project