Pin Sym Foong, Shengdong Zhao, Kelsey Carlson, Zhe Liu
Volunteers are an important resource at long-term care homes because they can supply services, such as engagement activities, that over-burdened care staff struggle to provide. However, volunteers without sufficient training are often challenged in responding to dementia-linked behaviors, which can lead to frustrating difficulties during interaction. Additionally, short-staffed care homes have difficulties in training and maintaining volunteers. To better support volunteers in providing engagement activities for people with dementia without a high training burden, we created VITA, a tablet-based system that supplies carefully designed profiling and guidance using our dementia-appropriate engagement activity kit. Our evaluation indicated that the instructional guide supplied by VITA significantly improves volunteers’ ability to facilitate engagement activities with people with dementia, approaching the level of engagement achievable by professional therapists.