A method for eliciting the support needs from people with early-stage dementia for maintaining social living

Hirotoshi Yamamoto, Yasuyoshi Yokokohji, Hajime Takechi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the area of welfare engineering, various technological research and developmental efforts have been made to support people with dementia. However, it is not clear if these efforts are based on the real needs of these people. When providing support to people with dementia, it is essential to know exactly what their needs are. Nevertheless, it is not easy to obtain appropriate answers from these people by simply asking "How can we help you?" In addition, it is unlikely that answers from those people will cover all of their support needs. In this chapter, a new method based on the "Person-Centered Care" concept is proposed for eliciting the support needs from, and determining their priorities for people with early-stage dementia who are eager to maintain their social living despite coping with various difficulties. First, all of the actual and potential tasks of social living in their daily life are determined. Support needs are then extracted systematically from those tasks by paying attention to what factors are bothering these people or are confusing to them rather than directly asking the individuals what type of support they want or need. Finally, the support needs are prioritized by taking the degree of the individuals' confusion and task frequency into consideration. When interviewing people with dementia, special care must be taken to ensure that the individuals who have memory impairment are not overburdened. In the proposed method, visual materials such as cards and boards with illustrations are utilized so that people with dementia can answer questions more easily. Some interviews were conducted based on the proposed method to confirm that support needs can be determined systematically from people with early-stage dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly Detection and Rehabilitation Technologies for Dementia
Subtitle of host publicationNeuroscience and Biomedical Applications
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781609605599
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Health Professions


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