Introduction: It is estimated that around 820,000 people in the UK have dementia. Telecare and assistive technology (AT) can support people with dementia living at home.
Objectives: This research aims to monitor and study night time activity patterns of people with early dementia (PwD) at home using AT, to detect abnormal patterns and to investigate whether the changes of activity profiles can be used as an indicator of the changes of cognitive function.
Methods: AT sensors were installed at three houses of people with dementia. Client activities are monitored and stored in a database. Information related to sleeping and movement patterns such as total sleep hours, sleep episodes, sleep rhythms, total movement time and movement episodes are retrieved for the detection of behaviours that may constitute non-normal activity and to help visualise trends.
Results: Sleep disturbance and wandering were observed in PwD. While an individual’s sleep wandering patterns were generally consistent over a period of time, some days of abnormal behaviour were detected and the trend of changes were visualised.
Conclusions: Activity profiles of PwD contain rich information that helps in understanding their behaviour related to their health condition, and can be used to improve the telecare service.