School of Computing


KITE: Keeping in touch every day

The KITE project looks into the ways in which older people with dementia can be supported in walking safely outside of the home. The project used Participatory Design techniques to involve potential users and found that the biggest barrier to the carrying of Safety Critical devices was their stigmatising aspect.

Memory problems can cause people with dementia to get lost whilst out walking, which may further lead to considerable stress for carers. Technology has the potential to minimise the risk of harm from such wandering. However the role of technology to facilitate independent living for people with dementia is not fully realized, with initial attempts (e.g. tracking devices) being considered unacceptable from a practical and ethical perspective.

Four focus groups were set up consisting of people with dementia in the North East and their carers and through regular discussions with the group members we aimed to develop solutions which matched their needs. Workshops were run with the same four groups of peoples. These sessions looked at how and why people with dementia wandered and considered different devices and technologies.