Everyday Sounds for Advanced Dementia Care

It has been demonstrated that listening to everyday sounds, such as a beach or a forest can be beneficial for people with dementia. How to integrate these kinds of sounds in daily care activities and routines has not yet been investigated. In this study we investigate the role of everyday sounds in a care home for people with dementia. We do this with an interactive pillow, namely VITA, by which people with dementia can play personal music or meaningful sounds. VITA was designed by the Pleyade Innovatie Team (PIT), a collaboration between Pleyade, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Holland Art Group, BENDE Rotterdam and Interactive Matter

First, we held a workshop with caregivers and activity supervisors who discussed the average day of a resident to see which care activities take place. We then explained the design rationale of VITA and the benefits of sound for people with dementia. After the workshop, the caregivers and activity supervisors used VITA during care activities in two different care homes for a period of 4 weeks. During this period, observations were performed. After these four weeks, a short interview took place with the caregivers to assess their experience and use of VITA. The results of this study provide important insights into how we can develop technologies with sound that have a positive impact on people living in residential care homes.
For this study, a mix of personal sounds for every participant, and general sound sets were designed. Each participant had two personal sounds, chosen based on background information or personal interests. In addition, there were four different general sound sets: Play!, Day out, Listening and Daydreaming.
For this study, a mix of personal sounds for every participant, and general sound sets were designed. Each participant had two personal sounds, based on background information or personal interests. In addition, there were four different general sound sets: Play!, Day out, Listening and Daydreaming.

1) Play!: short playful sounds!
contains: cheering, bubbles, cartoon sounds and dog.

cheering

bubbles

cartoon

dog

2) Day out: Go out and discover the sounds!
contains: church bells, concert hall, train and bicycle.​​​​​​​

concert hall

train

church bells

bike

3) Listening: calm and homely to relax.
contains: wind organ, snow steps, rain and birds.​​​​​​​

birds

wind chimes

footsteps snow

rain

4) Daydreaming: calm landscapes to dream about...
contains: rainforest, riverbank, campfire evening and beach.

rainforest

beach

riverbank

campfire

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