Empowerment and surveillance for people with dementia

back to Projects homepage

United KingdomUniversity College London United Kingdom

Early Stage Researcher (ESR1)

ESR1_Yvette Vermeer_cropped photo edited for web final

Yvette Vermeer

Email icon Linkedin icon Twitter icon



Prof. Paul Higgs

Email icon University profile icon


Dr. Georgina Charlesworth

Email icon University profile icon

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 October 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.



Tinker, A., Fozard, J. L., Kearns, W., Mihailidis, A., Atoyebi., O., Bailey, A., Bet., P., Lapierre, N., Neubauer, N., Roque, N., Vermeer, Y., Taipale., V., (2018). “Twelve years of ISG masterclasses: Observations & Best Practices” Gerontechnology; 17 (4). Pp 232-237

Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., Charlesworth., G. (2019). Marketing of surveillance technology in three ageing countries. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 20(1), 20-33.

Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., & Charlesworth, G. (2019). Surveillance Technology in Dementia Care: Implicit Assumptions and Unresolved Tensions. In Dementia Lab Conference (pp. 101-113). Springer, Cham.

Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., & Charlesworth, G. (2019). What do we require from surveillance technology? A review of the needs of people with dementia and informal caregivers. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering. (6), 1-12

Vermeer, Y., van Santen, J, Charlesworth, G. & Higgs, P  (2020). People with dementia and carers online discussing surveillance. Journal of Enabling Technologies. (14 ), 1, 55-70.

Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., & Charlesworth, G. (2020). Selling surveillance technology: semiotic themes in advertisements for ageing in place with dementia. Social Semiotics.  Vol. ahead-of-print


Conference presentations 

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

Vermeer, Y (2018, May) – Online shopping and surveillance safety. Digital Health and Well-being conference. Symposium conducted at The Open University in Milton Keynes, UK –

Vermeer, Y (2018, May) – Surveillance technologies: poor categories and old designs.  International Society of Gerontechnology (ISG) Conference. Symposium organised by Simon Fraser University held in Florida – USA

Vermeer, Y (2018, May) – A protocol tool to test surveillance technologies: input from people with dementia is essential.  Alzheimer Society – London, UK

Vermeer, Y (2018, July) – Power and surveillance technology: What people with dementia and carers needs versus what technology providers provide In P. Higgs (symposium lead) Technology for dementia: Issues of power and identity. Symposium conducted at The British Society of Gerontology 47th Annual Conference, Manchester, UK

Vermeer, Y (2019, July) –Advertisements to sell technology for ageing in place: people living with dementia as demented wanderers? In G. Gibson (symposium lead) Technology, resilience and ageing; critical perspectives. BSG Technology and Ageing Special Interest Group. Symposium 14 conducted at The British Society of Gerontology 48th Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK 

Vermeer, Y, Bath, J, Charlesworth, G, Higgs, P (2019, July) – Creating a PPI Group of People Living with Dementia and Carers:  Barriers of Professionalism and Exclusivity In F. Poland (symposium lead) Patient Public Involvement (PPI) in Dementia Research: Emerging Issues and Tensions.  Symposium 30 conducted at The British Society of Gerontology 48th Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK –

Vermeer, Y., Higgs, P., Charlesworth, G. (2019, October). People living with dementia and family members in online discussion of their needs from surveillance technology. 29th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Den Haag, the Netherlands.



Yvette Vermeer blog – Dementia Research & Reality  –

Dementia Researcher NIHR – 

ACT Project blog – Spotlight on Technology and Dementia Research –



(2018, March) – Working with people with dementia and their carers. Recorder at Dementia Researcher: a network for early career researchers, London, UK.

(2018, October) – Research ethics. Recorder at Dementia Researcher: a network for early career researchers, London, UK. 

(2018, November) –The practicalities and realities of doing qualitative research – ethics on the move. Recorder at Dementia Researcher: a network for early career researchers, London, UK. 



Vermeer, Y. Surveillance technologies for dementia care. Chain-Network. London, UK, November 2018. Available at:



Vermeer, Y (2017, July) – Surveillance technologies in dementia care: Safety for Sale. Recorder at The British Society of Gerontology 46th Annual Conference, Swansea, UK. Part of AgeingBites.



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

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

INDUCT newsletter Spring 2018 –  First UCL-SURP meeting with research advisors was a success –

UCL- Division of Psychiatry newsletter, Winter 2018

Alzheimer Europe newsletter August 2018 – INDUCT reports on preliminary findings of surveillance and empowerment study

—-Dutch only—-

Alzheimer Nederland website May 2018 – New GPS expert

Alzheimer Nederland website June 2018 – Questions and tips from the GPS expert

Alzheimer Nederland website July 2018 – Whats the difference between GPS and navigation?

Alzheimer Nederland website July 2018 – Tips for using GPS

Alzheimer Nederland website July 2018 – GPS for people with dementia who can become lost

Alzheimer Nederland website July 2018 –Tips for choosing a GPS