Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


Practical, cognitive & social factors to improve usability of technology for people with dementia

Technologies are increasingly vital in today’s activities in homes and communities. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the consequences of the increasing complexity and reliance on them, for example, at home, in shops, traffic situations, meaningful activities and health care services. The users’ ability to manage products and services has been largely neglected or taken for granted. People with dementia often do not use the available technology because it does not match their needs and capacities. This section provides recommendations to improve the usability of technology used in daily life, for meaningful activities, in healthcare and in the context of promoting the Social Health of people with dementia.
Technology in everyday life

Adaptations to enable more accessible public transport

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Public transport providers and policy-makers should be more aware of barriers to access and consider adaptations to enable better accessibility for people with cognitive issues or disabilities living with dementia.

Explanation and Examples

Everyday Technologies are required to access public transport (e.g. ticket machines, GPS, travel updates on smartphones). Research from the UK and Sweden explored how access to public transport can enable or disable a person’s ability to participate in places and activities, within public space. The UK study involved 64 older people with dementia and 64 older people with no known cognitive impairment. The Swedish study included 35 older people with dementia and 34 older people with no known cognitive impairment. Transportation centres were one of the places most frequently abandoned over time by the Swedish group of people with dementia. In both the Swedish and UK samples, compared with people without dementia significantly fewer people with dementia were drivers, so may have increased need to use public transport. Research shows they face increased barriers to using the Everyday Technologies that are required to access those services. The research is supported by consultations that were performed across London with community-based groups of older people with and without dementia, and the European Working Group of People with Dementia. The consultations revealed not only physical but also cognitive barriers to using Everyday Technologies to access public transport.

Type of evidence

Sophie Gaber (INDUCT ESR3)

Cross sectional quantitative studies, literature review & multilevel stakeholder consultations.


Gaber, S. N., Nygård, L., Brorsson, A., Kottorp, A., & Malinowsky, C. (2019). Everyday Technologies and Public Space Participation among People with and without Dementia. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 86(5), 400–411.

Gaber, S. N., Nygård, L., Kottorp, A., Charlesworth, G., Wallcook, S., & Malinowsky, C. (2020). Perceived risks, concession travel pass access and everyday technology use for out-of-home participation: cross-sectional interviews among older people in the UK. BMC Geriatrics, 20, 192.

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