Working with Assistive Technologies and People Living with Dementia

  • Grant GibsonEmail author
  • Katie Brittain
  • Louise Robinson


Assistive technologies (ATs) are currently put forward as one of the solutions to the growing prevalence of dementia and crises of care emerging in major Western economies. However, both design philosophies for technology in dementia and policy discourses for technology implementation have excluded people with dementia. This exclusion has meant that technology research has not yet adequately explored how people with dementia use technology in everyday practice and the spatial, social and technical arrangements in which technologies are used. In this chapter, we explore how technology use among people with dementia is conceptualised, before discussing some of the issues which influence how people with dementia use technologies. We argue that a more nuanced understanding of technologies is gained through exploring the social and technical arrangements in which they are used. Drawing on the notion of an ethics in practice, we also explore how people living with dementia negotiate the dilemmas arising from the everyday use of technology. Finally, the chapter discusses alternative methodologies for investigating technology use in dementia based on co-creation and co-production, alongside some of the practical issues arising when conducting research in relation to technology and its role in dementia care.


Assistive technology Telecare People living with dementia Ethics in practice Co-production 


Funding Statement

This paper presents independent research funded in part by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its ‘Research Professorship’ scheme (Reference Number NIHR-RP-011-043). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR of the Department of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StirlingStirlingScotland, UK
  2. 2.Northumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneEngland, UK
  3. 3.Newcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneEngland, UK

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