Challenges in Dementia Family Caregiving and How Technology Helps in Monitoring

Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type





Donald W. Carr

Second Advisor

Lucinda K. Havenhand


Alzheimer's, Caregiver burden, Caregiving, Design, Robot

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


Research indicates that taking care of people with dementia as family caregivers can

cause huge stress and burden. In this project, I studied how dementia influenced the life

of family caregivers and found that monitoring is one of the most burdensome caregiving

tasks. Living with uncertainty about loved one’s safety and health can be scary. To explore

new technological opportunities in monitoring people with dementia, I conducted surveys

and interviews with dementia family caregivers about their experiences, attitudes, and

expectations of a monitoring system. Based on the research, I designed a comprehensive

monitoring system using an animal-shaped robot. Findings from this project indicate that

this system can relieve caregivers from always having to be around to support the care

recipients and help to reduce their stress at some level. Moreover, the real life robot pet

can be a good companion and bring therapeutic effects on people with dementia.


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