Monitoring people with dementia ‐ controlling or liberating?

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Publication date: 1 September 2007


In the increasing discussion about electronic assistive technology, the most emotive reactions are provoked when it is suggested that technology is used to monitor older people with dementia. The words associated with monitoring are rather negative ‐ surveillance, ‘big brother’, intrusive, controlling.For the past two years care practitioners in local authorities and NHS mental health trusts have been using the Just Checking activity monitoring system to assess people with dementia, living alone in their own homes. Small, wireless movement sensors placed in the key rooms of the house, are triggered as the person goes about their daily life, and the data are represented as a line on a 24‐hour chart. There are no cameras. The chart is accessed via a password controlled website.The charts give care professionals and family carers a much clearer ‘picture’ of how a person with dementia is acting in their own home. The information is used to devise a care package that is appropriate, and will support them to continue to live independently.Case study names have been changed.


Price, C. (2007), "Monitoring people with dementia ‐ controlling or liberating?", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 41-44.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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