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 and moderators of online peer support should have good listening and communication skills and a supportive attitude


It is important that the online peer support group is a safe and non-judgemental environment for everyone in the group. Most of all it is a platform for members to express themselves and support one another. It is the role of the facilitator to make everyone feel included, heard, and safe.

Explanation and Examples

Through 4 focus groups including a total of 20 people with Young Onset Dementia, and 9 individual interviews with people with Young Onset Dementia, people highlighted the importance of the role of the facilitator. Additionally, through speaking with online group facilitators, they shared what they think is important and what helps them to run a meeting well. Facilitators should:

  • Have good listening skills and not take over the conversation too much, but let the group decide what to discuss and what is important.

  • Make every member of the group feel included and give everyone a chance to speak. If people raise their hand, make sure to address everyone in order.

  • Make sure not one person dominates the conversation.

  • Call out bullying or abusive behaviour or language.

  • Check in with someone after the meeting if they appeared distressed or upset, or if they left suddenly without explaining why.

  • Really get to know the members, for example by meeting with them one-on-one before they join the group. In this way facilitators can learn what someone is expecting from the group, and what their needs are.

Type of evidence

Esther Gerritzen (DISTINCT ESR2)

Focus groups, individual interviews, informal consultations.


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.