Empowerment and surveillance for people with dementia

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United KingdomUniversity College London United Kingdom
Supervisor(s) Prof. Paul Higgs
Dr. Georgina Charlesworth
Early Stage Researcher (ESR1) Yvette Vermeer 

ESR1_Yvette Vermeer_cropped photo edited for web final

Hello I am Yvette Vermeer from the Netherlands. As an intern at the University of Alberta in Canada, I have gained research experience in the areas of healthcare, aging, and assistive technologies. I have graduated in Management, Economics and Consumer Studies (MSc.) at Wageningen University. My research interests cover dementia, family carers, technology, products and design, consumer behaviour and empowerment.

Furthermore, I have a bachelor in Commerce and worked in home care. Withal, I am truly enthusiastic to be working for INDUCT that contributes to the usability of technology in dementia care, and to see that my work can mean something to others.

Start date September 2016
Duration 36 months


ESR1 will examine the nature of the surveillance technologies in use with people with dementia having different levels of cognitive impairment and investigate the assumptions lying behind them. This will include a review of common surveillance technologies used across Europe, and in depth consultations with experts, staff, family carers and people with dementia in 3 countries. In addition, qualitative interviews will be conducted with people with dementia who are subject to surveillance technology, and their family carers to elicit their views and attitudes and any associated stigma. Surveillance technology has been developed to enable carers and institutions to monitor older people with dementia particularly those with challenging behaviours. Such technology often reduces the cared for person to a configuration of risky or dangerous behaviours. These are judged often without recourse to context or consequence.

Expected Results

The project will provide a detailed review of characteristics of available surveillance technology in relation to concerns of experts, family carers and people with dementia. An in depth analysis of people with dementias experiences of surveillance technology will illustrate how far it impacts on everyday life, sense of autonomy and stigma.

Planned secondment(s)

Two of 3 months each with both including data collection. At the end of the first year to Karolinska Institute, Sweden to understand better characteristics of everyday technology and the concepts and interactions of people with dementia. In the second year with Alzheimer’s Europe to better understand the concerns and experiences of people with dementia.



Vermeer, Y ( 2017, July) – Dementia and the design of surveillance technology. In P. Higgs (symposium lead) Dementia and the new technologies. Symposium conducted at The British Society of Gerontology 46th Annual Conference, Swansea, UK – – page 56


Yvette Vermeer blog – Dementia Research & Reality   –

ACT Project blog – Spotlight on Technology and Dementia Research –


Alzheimer Europe newsletter March 2017 – INDUCT project 1 is researching surveillance technology and empowerment –

INDUCT newsletter Spring 2017 –  Research can be empowering! – – page 5