New dementia app to help assess home environment

A new app has been designed which allows for elderly people and those with dementia to give feedback on their surroundings so that their home care environment can be assessed and improved accordingly.

The University of Stirling alongside Space Architects launched the app, called Idris, yesterday on World Alzheimer’s Day and.

Lesley Palmer, chief architect at the DSDC, said: “Iridis revolutionises how we improve the day-to-day lives of older people and those living with dementia around the world.

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“At the touch of a button, people with dementia, their families and health professionals will be able to assess how dementia-friendly their built environment is and how it can be improved.”

Iridis allows users to use smartphones and tablets to assess environments – such as homes or hospitals – to ensure they fit with suitable design principles.

The technology asks a series of questions about the surroundings and requests photographs of the environment.

It then uses the data to highlight potential problems – such as issues with furniture, lighting, colour contrast and noise – before recommending changes.

Stephen Brooks, director of Space Architects, said: “I think this is an excellent tool for us, particularly because it gives us that solid base of information that is quantifiable.

“So, when we are looking to make improvements or upgrading an existing building, we know we are on a sound footing.”

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