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.
Social Health Domain 1: Fulfill ones potential and obligations

Facilitators of online peer support groups using video meetings should provide clear guidance and support to allow people to use the platform


People with Young Onset Dementia can experience difficulties using technology or particular platforms for online peer support. Facilitators of video meetings and moderators of text-based platforms (such as Facebook groups or discussion forums) should provide clear guidance on how to use the platform and be available to offer technological assistance where needed.

Explanation and Examples

Our study, including 20 people with Young Onset Dementia across 4 focus groups, showed that most of them experienced difficulties with the online meetings at some point. This included having difficulties getting into the Zoom meeting and installing or updating the software on their devices. Some more specific recommendations included:

  • The facilitator of video meetings should send out timely reminders, preferably also on the day of the meeting, including the link to the meeting. This reduces the risk that someone cannot find the link.
  • The facilitator should provide a clear step-by-step guide on how to install and use the necessary software.
  • The facilitator should open the meeting 10-15 minutes beforehand to allow people to get in and if needed provide remote support (e.g. via email, WhatsApp, or a phone call).

Type of evidence

Esther Gerritzen (DISTINCT ESR2)

Focus groups with UK-based peer support groups that use videoconferencing platforms for their meetings.


Gerritzen, E. V., Kohl, G., Orrell, M., & McDermott, O. (2022). Peer support through video meetings: Experiences of people with young onset dementia. Dementia (London, England), 14713012221140468. Advance online publication.