SOURCE: Department of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
Cognitive impairments influence the possibility of persons with dementia to remember daily events and maintain a sense of self. In order to address these problems a digital photo diary was developed to capture information about events in daily life. The device consisted of a wearable digital camera, smart phone with Global Positioning System (GPS) and a home memory station with computer for uploading the photographs and touch screen. The aim of this study was to describe professional caregiver’s perceptions on how persons with mild dementia might experience the usage of this digital photo diary from both a situation when wearing the camera and a situation when viewing the uploaded photos, through a questionnaire with 408 respondents. In order to catch the professional caregivers’ perceptions a questionnaire with the semantic differential technique was used and the main question was “How do you think Hilda (the fictive person in the questionnaire) feels when she is using the digital photo diary?”. The factor analysis revealed three factors; Sense of autonomy, Sense of self-esteem and Sense of trust. An interesting conclusion that can be drawn is that professional caregivers had an overall positive view of the usage of digital photo diary as supporting autonomy for persons with mild dementia. The meaningfulness of each situation when wearing the camera and viewing the uploaded pictures to be used in two different situations and a part of an integrated assistive device has to be considered separately. Individual needs and desires of the person who is living with dementia and the context of each individual has to be reflected on and taken into account before implementing assistive digital devices as a tool in care.