Providers and marketers of should not communicate a wanderer with dementia discourse. Rather they should focus on useful person-centred products and communicate this in a non-stigmatising way towards family carers and people living with dementia in order to provide empowering products.
Explanations and examples
Surveillance Technology (Surveillance Technology Electronic tracking systems monitoring movements of wearers), such as GPS tracking devices are used as a resilience tool to increase the safety and independence of people with dementia that portray people with dementia to sell such technologies in a way that encourages stereotypes and contribute to a misunderstanding of dementia. This in turn could also impact technology development. This qualitative research undertook three studies of production (who made what), audience reception (what do users need) and textual analysis (what media techniques are used to attract attention) focused on the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands. The production study examined 242 websites that sell ST and a wanderer discourse with dementia was found. These websites give minimum representation of people with dementia using technology but represent overburdened younger-female carers, who are in need for a locating safety product to covertly use for wandering people with dementia, children and pets. Relying on stereotypes and “not so useful” technology will hinder resilience for people with dementia. Rather, it may imply the continuous stigmatisation that occurs when people with dementia are stereotyped and disregarded as human technology users.
ThemesDementia Stigma Technology advertisements Textual analysis Wandering discourse
Target groupsProviders & marketers of Surveillance Technology
Type of evidence
Review of surveillance technology sold online and their marketing techniques
Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., Charlesworth. G. (2018) Marketing of surveillance technology in three ageing countries. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 20, 2019(1):20-33 https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-03-2018-0010
Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P. & Charlesworth, G. (2020) Selling surveillance technology: semiotic themes in advertisements for ageing in place with dementia, Social Semiotics, https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2020.1767399
Vermeer, Y. Analysing advertisements of older adults: controlling the senile back then and wanderers now? (submitted)
Vermeer, Y., van Santen, J., Charlesworth, G., & Higgs, P. (2020). People with dementia and carers online discussing surveillance. Journal of Enabling Technologies, 14(1), 55-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/JET-07-2019-0032
Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., Charlesworth, G. (2019). Surveillance Technology in dementia care: implicit assumptions and unresolved tensions. In: N. Hendriks, K. Slegers, A. Wilkinson (eds.) DementiaLab 2019, Making design work: engaging with dementia in context. Springer International Publishing,, p101-113
Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., & Charlesworth, G. (2019). What do we require from surveillance technology? A review of the needs of people with dementia and informal caregivers. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, 6. https://doi.org/10.1177/2055668319869517