Around 130,000 people with dementia are currently living in Austria. Most people with dementia (80%) remain living at home for as long as possible after being diagnosed. Persons with dementia and their relatives undergo a progressive process of withdrawing from various social activities, which is accompanied by a reduction of their mobility in public space. However, mobility is a core factor influencing social participation of people with dementia.
Little is known of how people with dementia experience accessibility in public space in the metropolitan area in Austria. While a number of technical support systems have been developed, usability studies in collaboration with people with dementia are missing yet. Therefore, there is an urgent need to learn more about mobility of people with dementia and the use of technical support systems. Planning sciences as well as operators of public transport organizations can benefit from the generation of knowledge and awareness-raising approaches to develop dementia friendly socio-technical systems.
Aims and Innovation - In collaboration between IFF - Institute for Palliative Care and Organizational Ethics, University of Klagenfurt, Vienna, Graz, the Office for Sustainable Competence, Vienna, Caritas Socialis, Vienna and Wiener Linien we want to pursue the following aims and issues in this context:
- Everyday life experiences of mobility in public space of people with dementia who are still mobile will be studied to find out what promotes or hinders the mobility in public areas with a focus on social environment and public transport.
- Client-centred usability studies with already existing technical support systems focusing on public transport are conducted in collaboration with people with dementia and their relatives to find out usability requirements for this equipment.
- Based on these insights recommendations will be formulated for relevant stakeholders of the social environment (for example, clubs, shops,), the planning of public space (for example, equipment, orientation) and transport systems (esp. public transport).
Methods and Expected Findings - Based on a qualitative case study approach, the research project will use narrative interviews, focus groups and participant observation. Everyday experiences of mobility in public space of people with dementia living in "dementia friendly“ districts (3rd and 23rd district) will be explored. Already available technical support systems will be part of a "usability study" with people with dementia and their relatives. Recommendations for a dementia-friendly traffic and planning practice are developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders as well as an information brochure for persons who meet people with dementia in their daily social environment.