Background: Use of technology to structure and support the daily activities of the residents in a small-scale group accommodation (SSGA) for dementia is a new innovation in the Netherlands. This paper presents the process of development of this new way of structuring activities and the findings of a pilot study looking at the experiences of using this device in people with dementia.
Method: A qualitative method was chosen, data were collected using individual interviews with the residents (n = 6), focus groups interviews with informal carers (n = 5) and members of staff (n = 6). Data were analysed using Ritchie & Spencer’s framework (1994).
Findings: Three main themes emerged: issues regarding the implementation, needs for further development and the learning experiences acquired during the development. The majority of the residents were happy with the use and function of the memory aid. However, the occurrence of installation errors, limited ease of use and a lack of knowledge regarding the function and use of the memory aid were issues that prevented a successful implementation. Findings highlighted shared views about ways of improving through adaptation of the software program and additional technological applications; internet connectivity, improving its accessibility by using a remote control and adding videos and photos.
Conclusion: Lessons are learned about the use and transferability of this innovation in people with dementia and other vulnerable target groups including those with learning disabilities as well as its limitation and the needs for further development.