I really would like to share my experience at the Connected Health Summer School (CHSS) “Smart Homes for Healthy Ageing” that took place from the 24th to the 27th of June 2019 in Artimino, Florence (Italy). More than 30 participants from all over the world followed the 4 days lectures by international experts from different fields.
Interestingly, CHSS’s activities did not only focus on transmitting important information and issues related to people living with dementia (PLwD) on multiple levels (user needs, healthcare, business and innovation). Indeed, during the whole period of the summer school, the participants were asked to work along with members of the Irish Dementia Working Group to co-develop a viable solution for their needs
My colleagues and I, assisted by Professor Paul Mccullagh (Ulster University), we came up with an idea to favor PLwD social inclusion through a dedicated platform ideally build on three levels:
What is happening to me?
This section was thought to provide detailed information about the different types of dementia (informational support) since PLwD can have some difficulties in finding it after the diagnosis.
What is happening around me?
This section aimed at connecting PLwD on the one hand with associations, counseling centers, health care providers locally involved in their problems, and on the other with places where they can enjoy their hobbies or passions.
What is happening everywhere?
This section allowed communication between dementia groups all around the world. Here similarly to FaceTime PLwD could enjoy social interaction with other people that are not physically close to their places.
Unfortunately, our project did not win the CHSS’s contest. Nevertheless, what we have learned here will take us far, hopefully.