The project Everyday Sounds of Dementia aims to research the potential of sound and soundscapes in design of technology and services for people living with dementia. The number of people with dementia is increasing to unprecedented levels, and there is currently no cure. Therefore, sustainable non-pharmacological support strategies are essential to improve the quality of life of people with dementia. There exists a large body of evidence on how sound and music provide emotional and behavioral benefits. However, there remains a gap in knowledge on how to leverage these beneficial effects of sound into care practice. In this project, we combine healthcare expertise with design-research approaches to establish a knowledge framework of the added value of sound in care facilities and develop and evaluate audio-based technology with immediate meaningful impact in care practice. This project is financed by ZonMw Create Health and is a partnership between Eindhoven University of Technology, Tilburg University, care organization Archipel, and Cooperation Slimmer Leven.
The main goals of the project are to:
1) investigate the effects of personalized soundscapes on people living with dementia and their caregivers and develop a framework and collection of sounds for ongoing research and development;
2) explore and analyze the opportunities for sound and design to develop person-centered technology for dementia using research-through-design approaches;
3) develop new knowledge on collaborative methods to enable people living with dementia and their caregivers to engage in co-design and participatory approaches.
This project contributes to the positive well-being and quality of life of people living with dementia, and their caregivers, by supporting day-to-day functioning in their homes and during times of transition to higher levels of care. It uses design-research and participatory approaches to develop interactive soundscapes (collages of everyday ambient sounds) to calm, reduce agitation, stimulate, excite and engage people living with dementia in times of anxiety, stress, or boredom, and promote meaningful activity in high-risk situations. The project will support social engagement and communication through the design process and engagement with the soundscapes.
From the TU/e side the project is supported by Professor Berry Eggen, Assistant Professor Rens Brankaert, and PhD candidate Maarten Houben.
Website of the project: Everyday Sounds of Dementia - Slimmer Leven