International highlights from dementia conference: Technology-based dementia care
47 million people across the world are living with dementia. By 2050 the number is estimated to reach 131 million worldwide and the expenses in connection with dementia will triple. Dementia has a huge impact for the people with the disease and their relatives.
The dementia conference ‘Technology-based dementia care’ took place on October 11th 2017 in Odense, during WHINN – Week of Health and INNovation. Guest speakers from Sweden, Scotland, England and Denmark shared their knowledge, experiences and tips for a better life with dementia – both for care-givers, relatives and people with dementia.
- We all have a responsibility and a role in sharing more knowledge and awareness about dementia as a disease. A disease that has an impact on more than the person with dementia. Through knowledge and education we can avoid that people with dementia are stigmatized, said Karin Lind-Mörnesten, CEO for Swedish Care International.
Digital tools increase quality of life for people with dementia
The organization Swedish Care International is working for sharing and implementing awareness and education on dementia. Through digital tools, i.e. e-learning platforms and apps for smartphones and tablets, Swedish Care International is helping both professionals, relatives and people with dementia to improve the quality of life.
- Through technology we can broaden our reach even further and educate and provide knowledge about, how people with dementia can live a good life. If we cooperate across borders, Karin Lind-Mörnesten emphasized during her speak.
Swedish Care International base their work on the four cornerstones from 'Stiftelsen Silviahemmet'.
Technology must be adapted to each individual
Donna Henderson from The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare has many years of experience with (digital) health and care and the work with dementia. During her speak at the dementia conference, she took the attendees ten years back in time and ‘back to the future’.
- During the last 10 years there has been a huge development, not only in technology, but also in person-centered care. The development has taken place in cooperation with care-givers, society and the relatives. Without them – we would have a big challenge related to dementia, stated Donna Henderson.
The Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare is focusing on telecare sessions, POD (Products On Display), training and knowledge for relatives on how technology can help in people’s everyday life. Both for the person with dementia and for the relatives.
- The technology is here, but it must be adapted to each individual, said Donna Henderson during her speak at the dementia conference.
The future for people with dementia in an international perspective
All speakers and experts agreed how to strengthen the effort, if people with dementia, relatives and care-givers should be given the ideal conditions for creating a good (and better) life with dementia. The following points where mentioned as important areas concerning technology based dementia care:
- More knowledge and awareness about dementia
- More training and education of relatives and care-givers
- Sharing knowledge – both failures and successes – on local, national and global level
- Use of technology is not limited by age – also the elderly can handle technology
- Our challenge right now is, how to get better at sharing knowledge and experiences on a professional level in order to create even more ideas in the teams working with people with dementia. In that way we can learn even more about people with dementia, ends Karin Lind-Mörnesten from Swedish Care International.
Demantec is a Danish-German collaboration between companies, health professionals and researchers, and education institutions who are working to promote higher quality of life for people with dementia and improve the care services through new technology.
Demantec is supported by Interreg Deutschland-Danmark with funds from The European Regional Development Fund, and The Southern Denmark Growth Forum (Syddansk Vækstforum).
See more at demantec.eu http://demantec.eu/ (in German and Danish only)