The 29th conference of Alzheimer Europe took place at the World Forum in The Hague the Netherlands from 23 to 25 October. Many INDUCT consortium members contributed by means of oral presentations and posters. During the opening session Marjolein de Vugt pleaded in an inspiring keynote lecture for implementation of eHealth as effective support for family carers. On Thursday morning she chaired the parallel session of the PRECODE project on Young Onset Dementia (YOD) in which the prevalence of YOD and the need for consensus on the terminology and operational definition of YOD was discussed, a prerequisite for planning suitable care and support for people living with YOD. At the same time Orii McDermott contributed in another session on experiences of people with dementia and carers with her presentation on the needs associated with young people with dementia. Later, Marjolein de Vugt presented the significant effects of the Program Partner in Balance and the development of the “RHAPSODI” project for caregivers of young people with dementia.
On Thursday morning there was also a parallel session of INDUCT on Best Practices in Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia. During this session, 11 ESRs pitched some of the recommendations resulting from their projects and which are included in a web-based Best Practice Guidance for technology in Dementia which was officially launched and explained by Rose-Marie Dröes at the end of the session. The recommendations focused on how technology can improve the lives of people with dementia and included three technological areas: daily life, meaningful activities and health care.
Several ESRs also presented posters and oral presentations in the afternoon parallel sessions. Sarah Walcook presented a poster on her project and pointed out the importance of designing accessible technologies to outside the home for people with dementia
Yvette Vermeer presented on an online discussion of people with dementia and carers. Joeke van Santen showed the results of a randomized clinical trial into the evaluation and cost-effectiveness of exergaming compared to regular activities in day-care centers for people with dementia. The study showed how the use of exergaming helps reduce the emotional burden in informal caregivers. Aline Cavalcanti talked the effect of the use of touchscreen technology and visual art app in people with dementia. Sara Bartels talked about how personalized feedback is an important aspect of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) that facilitates a change in daily behavior of caregivers of people with dementia, following an RCT with 72 caregivers.
Rose-Marie Dröes demonstrated the impact of Dement-Talent volunteer work compared to the regular Meeting Centers support program in people with dementia. Dement Talent benefits the mental and social health of people with dementia by stimulating the use of their talents, which enables them to contribute to society and to participate in meaningful activities. This helps them to increase their sense of being useful and promotes emotional balance resulting in less behaviour and mood disruptions and less emotion burden in their carers.
On Friday, Lieve Van den Block talked about a palliative care program for people with and without dementia in nursing homes and showed that this program was effective in improving some aspects of the quality of care. Rose Miranda had a poster and reported on a systematic review, which she conducted to examine the evidence on palliative care of people with dementia in nursing homes. And, Annelien Van Dael presented a poster on her systematic review on the effectiveness, experiences, perceptions and views of advanced care planning for people with dementia. Finally, Rose-Marie Dröes reported on the new individualized MeetingCenters Support Programme providing DemenTalent to people with dementia and Dementelcoach (telephone coaching) and STAR eLearning to carers, which has been shown to be effective in an RCT which was carried out in 29 Meeting Centres across the Netherlands.
Angie Alejandra Diaz Baquero, Institute of Biomedical Research of Salamanca (IBSAL), University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Rose-Marie Dröes, Dept of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC, location VU medical center, The Netherlands