“3D4elderly” – integrating playful approaches and technology in care for people with dementia

Alzheimer Bulgaria Association participates in a project for the development and implementation of games the aim of which is to contribute to the dissemination of social inclusion through playful approaches. Using the new 3D technology, the quality of work of carers and staff caring for Alzheimer’s and elderly people with dementia improves, as well as the quality of life of patients.

The importance of social interactions between people with dementia, as well as with their loved ones, and creative engagement with others, should be seen as important aspects of the quality of care.

The developed handout contains 15 games all made on a 3D printer which have a positive effect on stimulating the cognitive functions – memory, imagination, and communication of people with dementia which slow down the development of the disease. Detailed instruction was presented – the place and way of playing the games and suitable dementia stage of the adult playing the games. The teamwork supports the smoother communication and the entertainment way stimulates positive emotions of the participants. It is crucial for the elderly with dementia, their relatives, and professional caregivers.

Alzheimer Bulgaria Association endorses the concept for implementation on the national level the developed games in the standardized system of care for people with dementia, due to 3D technologies support the cognition of people with dementia. Due to the implementation of the 3D games project the Association encourages the development of national strategies for the care of people with dementia, based on the principles of social inclusion, creative commitments and cognitive incentives for people with dementia.

The most valuable point is that the games are suitable for professionals at day centers and residential services, as well as for family members caring for a loved one with dementia. It is suitable for people with mild to moderate dementia. Created, tested and described games help people with dementia in maintaining their short-term memory, stimulating memories, concentration, coordination and planning. Last but not least, the activities are a pleasant and useful way to spend time with people with dementia, as well as it supports their social inclusion. When the games were tested by the project participating countries, some of the people with dementia live in a family environment, others were located in care homes. Based on the results, people with dementia enjoy using the suggested materials. They support improving the social interaction between the family members, also the atmosphere at the care homes. Another advantage of the games is closer contact and more frequent communication.

3D technologies provide a user-friendly, well-accepted and person-centered approach that increases the non-medical techniques in the long-term care for people with dementia. We strongly believe that this approach will become a part of the standards in policies for elderly with dementia and their families.

Learn more on the project’s website: HERE