Dementia is a progressive brain disease with a decline in functioning over time. CRDL (pronounced as Cradle) is an interactive instrument, developed to stimulate communication between users through sound and touch. It recognises the intention of the touch (tickle, holding, grabbing, fondling, kneading, and tapping) and will adjust the sound accordingly. This qualitative observational study explores whether this innovative product has the potential to be used in elderly care to create a moment of interaction between the person with dementia and someone else or multiple others. In a nursing home facility in the south of the Netherlands CRDL has been studied in one-to-one interaction between a person with dementia and a member of their family, a healthcare professional or a recreational therapist (n = 7), and group interaction between several people with dementia and a healthcare professional or a recreational therapist (n = 5). In the one-to-one interaction study professionals and family members reported that the interaction with CRDL and the person with dementia was a pleasant experience. They also mentioned that it felt familiar and they had the feeling that they were in better contact with the person with dementia. The exit interviews with the professionals and family members indicate that CRDL has the potential to encourage the interaction between the healthcare professional, recreational therapist or family member and the person with dementia. Healthcare professionals and recreational therapists who used CRDL in a group interaction session reported participants were generally fascinated by the object itself, but needed active encouragement to interact. The role of the healthcare professional, recreational therapist or family member seems very important.
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