Feasibility Study of a TV-Based Video Chat Technology for Elderly with Dementia
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, many of Canada's increasing aging population experience physical and cognitive impairments that necessitate moving to a care facility, with 44% of these residents having or indicating symptoms of depression. Social isolation is a contributor; 22-42% of these residents reported feeling severe loneliness. Video chat sessions have been found to be valuable augments to in-person visits. However, for adults with impairments such as dementia, operating the associated technologies might be impossible. Relying on care home staff to facilitate these chats can be challenging considering their already high workloads. Thus, an appropriate video chat technology should be able to automatically establish connections for users, and not require any maintenance beyond initial setup. This project proposes installing a user-friendly video chat system, called Biscotti, in a personal care facility, and identifying market potential for such services explicitly targeting elderly residing in long-term institutions.