There was significant support for the use of video surveillance technology in the homes of those living with dementia to safeguard their health, according to a new study.
Researchers at Ulster University found that over 90% of participants were in support of the idea, describing that it was ‘useful’, ‘ethical’ and ‘moral’ as long as there is initial consent from the patient.
The work involved people living with dementia and their carers across Northern Ireland who took part in several focus groups facilitated by Age NI - a leading charity for older people - to express their views on the ethics of using assistive technology such as home video surveillance.
Professor Maurice Mulvenna, lead researcher from Ulster University, said: “There are a number of clear benefits of camera-based technology for both those living with dementia and their carers.
“It helps those with dementia to live more independently at home for longer while providing peace of mind for their family.”
The study also suggested that real-time surveillance recordings should only be available to family members.
“There is much research to be done in this area in order to find a balance between privacy and overall value when it comes to home surveillance of people living with dementia”, added Mulvenna.
“Our next steps are to use these findings to seek new research funding to explore video surveillance and its value to family caregivers.”
The number of people living with dementia worldwide is set to rise to 136 million by 2050 and the university is “pioneering research to enhance the quality of life for the millions of people across the globe who are living with or affected by dementia”.