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Scand J Occup Ther. 2006 Jun;13(2):113-24.

Access technology and dementia care: influences on residents' everyday lives in a secure unit.

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  • 1Filière ergothérapie HES-SO, Ecole d'Etudes Sociales et Pédagogiques, Lausanne, Switzerland. imargot@eesp.ch


There is a need to understand how technology can best be used to facilitate well-being in people with dementia. This study sought to describe how access control technology influenced the everyday lives of people with dementia living in a secure unit. The staff members and the unit's residents participated in the study. Data were collected through ethnographic observations and semi-structured interviews over 6 months, and were analyzed using the constant comparative method. The results show how access technology supported the residents' sense of security, territoriality, orientation, and adaptation to the environment. However, certain conditions were necessary for these influences to appear. Overall, the results indicate that access control technology may be used to support the well-being of people with dementia, and to increase their opportunities to feel in place in a secure unit. However, there is an urgent need in the future for further exploration of the conditions for use of technology in the field of dementia care, and the necessity of making careful evaluations of the use of technology in this field cannot be overemphasized.

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