SENSE-GARDEN - reconnecting through sensing


Life is full of surprises. But one thing is for sure: many of us will live longer than our ancestors. And because of old age, more of us will develop dementia. But SENSE-GARDEN may connect people through music, video, photos and smells.

Creating rooms that adapt to the memories and lives of their visitors with dementia. Illustration: Colourbox
Creating rooms that adapt to the memories and lives of their visitors with dementia. Illustration: Colourbox

There are 47 million people living with dementia worldwide, and the number is expected to reach 131 million by 2050.

A person with dementia experiences loss of function, especially memory, eventually affecting verbal communication and creating disconnection from the close ones such as family and friends.

While there is no cure for dementia, the European project SENSE-GARDEN attempts to create rooms to tap into the senses of those affected, to enable them to re-connect with reality.

«We are developing a solution where we focus on feelings. A lot of the research on dementia is very focused on memories. But we think that it is not only memories that define people, but also feelings,» says Artur Serrano, project coordinator and primary investigator of SENSE-GARDEN.

- Dementia is a big health challenge that we can maybe help alleviating by investigating how technology can be used to improve quality of life, says Artur Serrano. Photo: Jarl-Stian Olsen
- Dementia is a big health challenge that we can maybe help alleviating by investigating how technology can be used to improve quality of life, says Artur Serrano. Photo: Jarl-Stian Olsen

Sight, touch, hearing, smell

SENSE-GARDEN will create rooms that adapt to the memories and lives of their visitors with dementia. By stimulating the senses like sight, touch, hearing and smell, the people may be able to re-connect with the reality around.

«SENSE-GARDEN is a room that shows the past of each specific person with dementia. The room “recognises” the person and adapts to the past experiences of that person, by showing photos, films and play music meaningful to the person. They can come there with their family and share those experiences they had before, and communicate. SENSE-GARDEN can bring a new life, to the person with dementia but also for their family and caregivers» says Artur Serrano.

Collaborating countries are Norway, Belgium, Romania and Portugal. (Illustration from the project's web page).
Collaborating countries are Norway, Belgium, Romania and Portugal. (Illustration from the project's web page)

Trying it out in Odda, Norway

One sensing-room is set up in the Norwegian municipality of Odda and will be ready to use in 2019. By the end of the project period, Serrano says there will be sensing-rooms in the other three countries as well - Belgium, Romania and Portugal.

«We are hopeful about this. Dementia is a big health challenge that we can maybe help alleviating by investigating how technology can be used to improve the quality of life of both patients and their caregivers. In the next years, many more of us will be affected by dementia in one way or another – either ourselves or our relatives or friends» Serrano says.

Professor Artur Serrano explains it in this video:

Postet 04.07.2019  av Lene Lundberg


About SENSE-GARDEN:
  • Project funded by the EU, led by the Norwegian Centre for E-health Research.
  • Aims at creating garden-like spaces, virtual and automatically adaptable to personal memories. Provide people with dementia with stimuli such as sight, touch, hearing, balance and smell.
  • Collaboration between four countries: Norway, Belgium, Romania and Portugal.
  • A sense-garden is created in the Norwegian municipality Odda and will open in 2019.
  • Project duration: 2017 – 2020. More info: http://www.aal-europe.eu/proje... and http://www.sense-garden.eu

Latest news