Project: Virtual and memory adaptable spaces creating stimuli for the senses in ageing people with dementia

Acronym SENSE-GARDEN (Reference Number: aal-2016-3-054)
Duration 01/06/2017 - 01/06/2020
Project Topic The SENSE-GARDEN project aims at creating garden-like personalised environments, or SENSE-GARDENS, to create awareness in older people with dementia by providing stimuli for the different senses, such as sight, touch, hearing, smell, balance, and even taste leading to a re-connection with the reality. People with dementia progressively disconnect from the world; they experience loss of function, especially memory, eventually affecting their verbal communication. Language loss is a major factor for disconnecting from the close ones such as family and friends. This progress is exacerbated by the lack of external stimuli, which happens due to reduced ctivity and disinterest in general. This is specially the case when the person enters an unfamiliar environment such as a care home. After some weeks in the new and alien place, it is common that the person reduces the interaction with others, stops talking and spends more and more time siting and facing the void. Some wonder around, with no apparent purpose or trying to find some lost familiar spaces. The use of familiar stimuli is a well know therapeutic tool in dementia care. Impressive results, such as improved speech recovery using reminiscence therapy or observable reactions to music after being in a prolonged state of total apathy, have been reported in the scientific literature. However, to our knowledge, an integrated stimulating environment that adapts to a person's memories and history has not been proposed or built. Based on the automatic identification of the visitors (using a RFID wristband), the space adapts itself to its users by starting to play their favourite music themes and songs, showing photos of familiar places, like the church next to the house where they lived when younger, or showing people such as family members. This will be a comfortable and soothing environment that creates accesses to yet preserved areas of the person's memory by external sources of stimuli to the various senses.
Network AAL 2
Call Call 2016 - Living well with dementia

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Bucharest Romania
Compexin S.A. Romania
e-Point Belgium
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Norway
Odda Municipality Norway
Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa Portugal
University Hospital of North Norway Norway
Vulpia Vlaanderen VZW Belgium