Wayfinding aid for the elderly with memory disturbances

Laura Sorri, Eeva Leinonen, Mari Ervasti

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    A global increase in aging population, combined with a growing number of people with dementia, creates new challenges to develop guiding technology for people with memory disturbances in their daily activities. In this study we have tested the prototype of a wayfinding aid using predefined routes. The orientation advice was given through three modalities, visual, audio and tactile signals, two of which were used at a time. Nine subjects, aged 59–90 years (with a median age of 84 years) participated in the user study at a rehabilitation unit in Pyhäjärvi, Finland. Their severity of dementia ranged between mild and severe, and walking abilities ranged from "frail to hobby skier". In addition, two elderly persons were recruited as control subjects. In most cases, the orientation with the wayfinding aid on predefined routes succeeded, with a few misinterpretations. The most common difficulties included: straying from the defined route, finding the right door, and the attractions of real-life context like other people. The severity of dementia didn't seem to predict success in orientation with the wayfinding aid. Using the landmarks wasn't as successful as using "left", "right" and "go straight on" commands as the wayfinding advice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationECIS 2011 Proceedings
    Subtitle of host publicationEuropean Conference on Information Systems
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems (AIS)
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    Event19th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2011 - Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 9 Jun 201111 Jun 2011


    Conference19th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2011
    Abbreviated titleECIS 2011


    • wayfinding
    • assistive technology
    • elderly
    • memory disturbances


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