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Online platform that reinforces the independence of Alzheimer's patients

The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), through the Area of Technological Innovations for Health and Wellbeing (SABIEN) of its University Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ITACA), has participated in the development of AD Autonomy, a new online platform that helps strengthen the independence of patients affected by Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages.

Accessible from a website, AD Autonomy makes available to users educational materials and various types of activities (some of them, online) to strengthen autonomy in eight dimensions of daily life. Thus, for example, the platform allows to know and test guidelines for the improvement of personal hygiene, navigation in urban environments and home security.

Its content also includes a personal planner, a tool that collects all the activities that must be carried out and acts as a reminder for people with dementia and their family; materials and activities focused on household finances, whose objective is, among others, to help the affected person manage household expenses; a series of recommendations on food, cleaning and home care; and, in addition, different actions to support emotional skills.

From scientists to psychologists, through the patients themselves, involved in the creation of the materials

In this regard, Antonio Martínez Millana, researcher of SABIEN-ITACA, explains that “each of the dimensions includes a series of basic materials aimed at both the patient and his environment, documents that describe the strategies to be put in practice to improve the level of autonomy, activities … Because the best way to learn is to implement the recommendations and the different support material ».

The materials have been produced by the AD-AUTONOMY project consortium, in which scientists, psychologists, sociologists, neurologists, staff of care centers for people with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the patients themselves, have been involved in a methodology of user-centered design.

6 million Alzheimer’s patients in Europe

The platform has been evaluated by more than 160 users from Spain, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Greece and Turkey, with a high degree of acceptance and improvement of autonomy, both for patients and for caregivers and professionals.

The next objective of the researchers is to carry out a comparative study to evaluate the positive effect that the use of the platform causes in people with incipient states of Alzheimer’s disease and how the proposed strategies can improve their autonomy in routine actions such as going to buy the bread or manage personal economy.

The Provincial Association of Relatives of People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias of Castellón (AFA), the Alzheimer’s Association of Turkey, the Alzheimer’s Association of Slovenia, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Bournemouth University have also participated in the AD-AUTONOMY project.

Source: UPV’s Information Office