elderly app users

Iridis app aims to give dementia patients a better quality of life

Iridis, an app designed for dementia patients, helps sufferers and their carers identify and give feedback on their surroundings, so that their environment can be optimised to allow them to better cope with life.

The app has been developed by The University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), in collaboration with Space Architects.

“Iridis revolutionises how we improve the day-to-day lives of older people and those living with dementia around the world,” said Lesley Palmer, chief architect at the DSDC.

“At the touch of a button, people with dementia, their families and health professionals will be able to assess how dementia-friendly their built environment is and how it can be improved.”

Research has shown that good interior design enables people with dementia, and other age-related impairments, to enjoy a greater quality of life and remain independent for longer.

The technology asks a series of questions about the surroundings and requests photographs of the environment.

Once feedback has been entered, Iridis provides recommendations on design improvements to support those living with the condition.

Changes are then recommended to optimise the surroundings, such as alterations to furniture, lighting, colour contrast and noise.

Stephen Brooks, director of Space Architects, said: “I think this is an excellent tool for us, particularly because it gives us that solid base of information that is quantifiable.

“So, when we are looking to make improvements or upgrading an existing building, we know we are on a sound footing.”

The app has launched today on World Alzheimer’s Day and will be available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

After its launch, data collected from users of the app will allow its designers to continually update and improve the technology.

“It’s going to make it easier for the places with people with dementia to go for care and support to make sure they’re designed in a way that meets the needs of people with dementia - and also elderly people more broadly,” said Richard Baker, policy and communications manager at Age Scotland.

Last month, scientists launched a virtual reality app - Sea Hero Quest VR – which is designed to gather data from dementia sufferers and diagnose those who may be experiencing early symptoms of the disease.

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