With the illness progressing, people with dementia show versatile and momentous changes in their behavior. Besides disorientation which frequently goes along with dementia, restlessness (agitation) and wandering are the most common and permanent behaviors, followed by depression, anxiety, and aggression. In the early stages of the illness, the diagnosis often results in isolation. Shame, fear, and an increasing disorientation to place reduce the degree of self-determination, independence, and social participation. In the advanced stages of the illness, custodial measures, sedating medication, and restraint – sometimes even without the necessary legal basis – belong to the most common compensatory mechanisms of domestic and, on occasion, institutional care settings. For many people with dementia the transition to an institutional care setting is inevitable, especially in the last stages of the illness.
The objective of QuartrBack is to enable people with dementia to have save access to their individual social spaces in the quarter, to participate in social life, and to maintain an individual lifestyle. For this to happen, a demand-oriented technology for locating and monitoring that will be newly developed as a part of this project will – in combination with different, already existing technologies (human-technology interaction) for locating, monitoring, access control, and information – be applied to strengthen the free movement and independence of people with dementia according to their individual needs. With the new service ServiceCenterPflege (SCP) potential emergency situations can be identified, assessed, and, from a range of different assistance strategies, the most effective one can be initiated to prevent an emergency situation. The integration of municipalities and civic engagement plays an essential role in the formation of an "intelligent emergency chain" in which a network of voluntary helpers (consisting of relatives, professional care workers, and voluntary assistants) will be actively involved in the emergency management.
ITAS is mainly responsible for the technology assessment of the overall process. Special focus will be put on the technical, legal, economic, and especially the social and ethical aspects of the technologies used in the project. This is also the context in which the project-accompanying interdisciplinary discourse will take place. Beyond that, ITAS will take over the situational and expectation analyses in which the expectations of the different stakeholders involved as well as their demands on the technology will initially be discussed and eventually reconciled as consensually as possible. Moreover, ITAS will support the project partners in various ways, e.g., in the conception and the setup of the SCP and the network of voluntary helpers and especially with the accompanying monitoring of an extensive field test in which the application of the diverse technologies in combination with SCP and the network of helpers will be tested under real conditions.
Project website: http://www.quartrback.de/