Designing a Reminiscence-based Tool to Increase Social Interactions in Residential Care

PhD candidate Francisco Jose Ibarra Caceres

May 7, 2018
Versione stampabile

Time: h 11:30 am
Location: Room Garda, Polo Ferrari 1 - Via Sommarive 5, Povo (TN) 

PhD Candidate

  • Francisco Jose Ibarra Caceres

Abstract of Dissertation

Reminiscence powers therapeutic interventions such as Life review and Reminiscence therapy, with well known positive outcomes on the wellbeing of older adults. In particular, reminiscence therapy supported by technology can increase self-esteem, facilitate social interactions and increase opportunities for conversation. Much research on reminiscence technology has in fact focused on improving interactions and conversation, mainly for people with dementia. Nonetheless, the potential for reminiscence to discover common life points among residents in residential care facilities and especially to use this information to foster bonding between residents has been little explored. The focus of this thesis is to design a reminiscence-based tool, to be used in nursing homes to stimulate interactions among older adults, family members, and nursing home staff.
We start by describing early work that reinforces the potential of ICT interventions on improving the wellbeing of older adults. These studies highlight the importance of social interactions on social wellbeing and of doing activities together in engagement and motivation. Through review works and exploratory studies we confirm the positive effects of social interaction on the wellbeing of older adults, the benefits associated to contributing, and the opportunities to improve social interactions, not only from distance but also in co-located settings.
In nursing homes we find a context that requires improving social interactions, and in reminiscence we find an ideal activity to make contributors out of older adults, stimulate conversation, and possibly increase connectedness between older adults and their networks. A series of studies were conducted with nursing homes stakeholders to define and design a tool suitable to their current practices, that could be used and adopted in nursing homes to stimulate co-located interactions.
In this thesis, we present the work carried out to define and validate and concept of a reminiscence-based tool, and describe how input from nursing home stakeholders has been integrated into the design of a tool to improve social interactions in residential care facilities.