Articles from the project period


The ENABLE Final Conference in Oslo 21. - 23.June 2004
The final conference attracted nearly 130 participants from many countries, and we think it is fair to say that it was a successful presentation of the issues from the project. Excellent guest speakers, interesting poster presentations and exhibitions and a broad and comprehensive presentation of the project altogether created an atmosphere that was positive and gave indications for further work, awareness raising and research. It was particularly nice to have our contact person in the EC, Gesa Hansen, present the whole time.


The Enable Project will finish in september 2004
The user trials in five countries are finished, the project results are now being analysed, and the reports and deliverables are taking form. It looks as if some interesting issues come up, areas for awareness raising and for further research.



Where can I get one?
As part of its work to evaluate technology that can provide support for people with dementia, the ENABLE project has also developed quite a number of new technical products. This work has involved close liaison with people with dementia and with their carers to guide the development activity. The evaluation programme has shown the potential of sensitively designed technology to support this user group.



Lithuanian evaluation study of the ENABLE project
Recruitment for the ENABLE project was completed in the end of September. 12 persons with dementia and their carers had accepted to take part in the project. In Lithuania 5 day and night calendars, 5 locators, and 2 gas cooker monitors were tested. To complete the trial, the respondents must participate for at least 3 months.



ENABLE Contributions at Dublin Conference
The awareness of dementia as a disability is increasing
At the conference Assistive Technology – Shaping the Future held in Dublin in August this year, there were several papers about dementia, 7 of which were ENABLE presentations. A conference is held biannually by the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE). At the preceding conference in Ljubljana 2001, the presentation of ENABLE was the only one that focused specifically on this user group. This year, one whole session was devoted to the ENABLE project. The awareness rising among researchers will hopefully lead to more and better products and also to better knowledge about what is available among health personnel, service providers and carers.



User trial status in UK
The UK arm of Enable has been active for some time now, with some respondent’s reaching the end of their time with the project (1 year). The feedback from people experiencing dementia, and their carer’s, both of who have been trying out Enable devices has been honest, open, and frank!



Norwegian evaluation study of the ENABLE project
July 1. 2003, the recruitment phase came to an end, and 25 persons with dementia and 25 family carers had accepted to be enrolled in the project. The data analysis has started and we are in the beginning of learning about who the participants are, what devices they have tested and what they think about the devices – are the useful or not to the persons with dementia and their family carers.



Challenges in Dementia Care: Can Technology Help People with Dementia?
You can now register for the ENABLE Final Conference, which is 21 - 23 June 2004 in Oslo. The results from the project will be presented and discussed, we have eminent guest speakers, and we hope you will come and contribute to an interesting conference.



Irish Evaluation Study of the ENABLE project
The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre is responsible for the Irish evaluation study of the ENABLE project, this has been on going since March 2002. Recruitment for the project was completed last month (June) with 32 people taking part.



Finnish ENABLE partner, STAKES coordinating evaluation studies of a multimedia product in four countries. The product includes two parts: a tool called Do it yourself Picture Gramophone to build individual music programs and a Player which is used to run the ready made programs similar to karaoke.



Supporting people with dementia: an engineer's perspective
The Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (BIME), part of the University of Bath in the UK, has been providing an engineering design input for the ENABLE project and has developed several new devices for the evaluation work; the locator for lost objects, the automatic nightlight, the cooker monitor, and the tap monitor.



Enable Conference in Norway 08.04.03
The purpose of the national ENABLE conference 2003 was to promote exchange of knowledge and experience by inviting representatives for the different actors; policy and administration of technical assistive aids, health and care personnel, dementia organisations, family carers as well as companies producing and purchasing assistive aids. The conference was held on 8 April with 90 participants.



Jurate Macijauskiene, Kaunas University of Medicine Enable Workshop in Lithuania
Spring meeting of the ENABLE project took place in Lithuania 14-16 of March. One day before the project partners participated in a forum "Health care and social services for people with dementia". The forum was organized by Geriatric Clinic of Kaunas University of Medicine in Kaunas within a frame of ENABLE project.



Dementia Voice, the Dementia Services Development Centre for the South west of England has increased its research activities since obtaining overall ethical approval at the end of last year.
Spreading the word of ENABLE, its products, its aims and objectives in 2002 has proved to be beneficial in generating a great deal of interest not least among people with dementia and their carers.



Lithuanian partner to join the project.Kaunas University of Medicine is the largest institution of medical education and training in Lithuania. Its history goes back to 1919, when by the decision of Kaunas Medical Society the Higher Medical Courses were established, which developed into the Faculty of Medicine of Kaunas University in 1922. Later on, in 1950 the Faculty of Medicine was transformed into Kaunas Medical Institute.



December 2002
National Conference on Technology and Older People November 6th & 7th Limerick Ireland.
A two day National Conference on Technology and Older People took place in Ireland in November where DSIDC was invited to deliver a workshop based on the ENABLE project. The focus of the conference was on looking at the obstacles and opportunities for older people posed by assistive technologies, information and communication technologies.



December 2002
How to obtain the ENABLE products?
Many write to us to ask where to buy the products we show on this web site. Under Technology in the menu, we have now added contact addresses or web sites for all the devices that are, or are going to be available. If you have trouble getting in contact with any of them, please tell us, and we will try to help you.



December 2002
Kaunas University of Medicine in Lithuania will start working in the ENABLE project early 2003, when the contract amendment is signed. A national workshop will be organised, and the consortium meeting is held in Lithuania in March 2003.



October 2002
The Mid term review of the progress of the project was held in Bath in October 2002. Professor Mary Marshall was the evaluator on behalf of the European Commission. Prior to the review she had received and read an extensive amount of documentation from the project, and took part in the consortium meeting and discussions that took place for the two days preceding the review. The review triggered many interesting discussions, and the consortium found these very constructive and useful. Professor Marshall gave a very favourable review of the work and potentials of the project, and many wise suggestions for our further work.



September 2002
Mandy Brady, London, sent us the following encouraging comment:
“I have just looked at the “enable” site through your link and am very impressed and delighted to see that there are such products being developed for sufferers of dementia. The locator for lost items looks wonderful, and so easy to use. Please do let me know when it becomes available on the market – we have 8 sets of door keys lost in my mother’s house! Such an item would prevent further “losses” and give great peace of mind and less anxiety to my mother!”



September 2002
The Norwegian Ministry of Social Affairs has just made a proposition for a new law concerning ethical issues in relation to people with dementia. It includes the use of technology for safety purposes, and recommendations around the use of monitoring and alarm systems. Comments to the law were called for before 1 September 2002, and we expect a wide, public discussion about the legal situation of people with dementia before the law is passed.



September 2002
The ENABLE project is now half finished. Mid term review is in Bath in October, and Professor Mary Marshall is the reviewer on behalf of the European Commission. All aspects of the project are up for discussion, to ensure that the project is running smoothly, as planned and within its resources.



ENABLE presented at the RESNA Conference
ENABLE presented at the RESNA Conference in Minneapolis, US.
Petrina Duff presented ENABLE at RESNA 2002. The presentation created great interest and many questions about how to get the products, the trials, etc. The paper is now published in the proceedings from RESNA: Proceedings of the RESNA 25th International Conference. Technology and Disability: Research, Design, Practice and Policy. Simpson, R. (ed). Arlington: RESNA Press.



Journal of Dementia Care writes about ENABLE
Vol 10 No 1 Jan/Feb 2002 includes an article about the ENABLE project. The article, pp26 to 28, is written by Inger Hagen, who is scientific co-ordinator of the ENABLE project. It gives a good overview of the background and the issues in the project. We will write regular updates to this journal, because it is a high quality journal that reaches a large, engaged and interested audience, also those who do not use the web to keep updated.



New Partner
We are happy to announce that the project now has a new partner: Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania. Because of this new partner, we plan to extend the duration for the project with six months, until the end of August 2004. More news about the new
partner later this summer.



Protocol for product assessment
The user trials in the assessment studies are now running in all four partner countries. And this means that the ENABLE assessment methods are finally being tried.

Extensive work has been carried out in order to ensure quality of the research and to comply with ethical issues in the trials.



ENABLE will participate at the annual exhibition and conference Handicap 2002, in Oslo 23., 24. and 25. April. The ENABLE products will be exhibited at Stand no BA 23, which is funded by the IT Funk activity in the Norwegian Research Council. At the conference, the Norwegian project participants will organise a workshop about the project and about dementia as a handicap, and also be present at a "Speakers Corner" to tell about the project.



Protocol for product assessment
The protocol for the assessment study of the products in ENABLE will be ready for the first trials to start in March 2002.

Extensive work has been carried out in order to ensure research quality and comply with ethical issues in the assessment studies that are going to take place in all four partner countries.

Five products will be tried in all countries:

  • Night lamp
  • Day-night calendar
  • Programmable telephone
  • Locator for lost objects
  • Picture gramophone

In addition some optional products will be tried in each country. In UK and Ireland, this will be the Cooker monitor. In Norway it will be Medicine reminder and Remote day planner. In Finland the trials of the Picture gramophone will be wider, in day care centres as well as private homes.



Stakeholder workshop in Oslo
On 30 January 2002, 44 participants from the care sector, family carers, therapists, regional centres for assistive technology, National Insurance Agency, Research Council of Norway, suppliers and researchers met for the first national ENABLE workshop in Oslo.

The topics covered were:

  • introduction to ENABLE by Inger Hagen
  • overview of dementia diseases and consequences for behaviour by Aase Marit Nygard
  • user requirements and ethical issues by Sidsel Bjørneby
  • demonstration and discussion about the ENABLE products by Torhild Holthe and Inger Hagen
  • current work and future activities by Torhild Holthe and Sidsel Bjorneby

The participants showed large interest and the discussion was lively. They expressed awareness that there is a need for more information about potentials of assistive technology for people with dementia, and some new ideas came up.

Many of the participants had been in contact with the project in focus groups and earlier presentations. Others were present for the first time. The group expressed that they wanted to follow the project actively and wanted to come to the next national workshop, where discussions about the preliminary results of the trials will be amongst the main topics. It was also obvious that they wanted to download reports and papers from this web site as they become available.



Consortium meeting and ENABLE Stakeholder workshop in Helsinki march 11-13.



Methodology and protocol for user assessment of the ENABLE products is in its final discussion phase in January 2002. Assessment studies to start in March 2002 and go on for up to one year in the four partner countries.



The Journal of Dementia Care in UK has organised an excellent conference on dementia in Dublin 26 and 27 September. The Irish Action Plan on Dementia is a good example of how to make progress in improving the lives of people with dementia. At the conference there were interesting presentations and discussions about the importance of co-ordinating the efforts of biomedical, pshycological and social science professionals, as well as technological developments and other related areas of work. The ENABLE project was presented and received positive feedback. There was general agreement that it is vitally important to raise the general awareness of all the positive developments in the care of people with dementia, not just the sad stories that the press tends to present.



From now on general practitioners in Norway can prescribe dementia specific medicine if they have experience with dementia patients. Earlier the prescription had to be made by a specialist, which meant that it was much more difficult to get.



September 21was World Alzheimer Day, and there were extensive arrangements going on all over the world. Issues around the needs of people with dementia are slowly coming on the agenda, but we still have a lot of work ahead!



ENABLE was presented at the big AAATE conference in Ljubljana 3-6 September, and created attention to technology and people with dementia.
The EC invited Inger Hagen to present the project as part of the Quality of Life programme. After her presentation she was interviewed by a Slovenian newspaper who found her paper very interesting. The paper can be seen in the AAATE proceedings or by contacting Inger Hagen, at



Enabling products for people with dementia

This is the web site of an exciting research project which was aimed at "marrying the new with the familiar" when developing and introducing new technology to people with dementia and their carers.

Quality of Life
The project aimed at facilitating independent living of people with early dementia and to promote their wellbeing through access to enabling systems and products. Pleasure, memory support, entertainment and own activity were key words in the project.
Five countries, wide experience
The partners were situated in England, Ireland, Finland, Lithuania and Norway, are interdisciplinary and had wide experience in dementia care and research, technology development and human factors.
The project was funded under the EC Programme Quality of Life and living resources, and lasted for three years, starting in March 2001.


Funded by the European Commission under the Programme "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources", Contract No. QLK6 - 2000 - 00653

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