The RemoDem project is transnational and involves partners in Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Faroe Islands, and Greenland. All these countries have remote areas where people frequently have more difficulties accessing specialist health and care services than those living in towns and cities.
Travelling long distances to urban locations where services or professionals are normally based can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. This is particularly true for people with dementia, who need to access qualified professionals for dementia-specific services at all levels of the support system, from receiving reliable early diagnoses to accessing direct support for themselves and their families in their homes to consultations with relevant health professionals.
To further compound the difficulties faced by people with dementia, in some regions community-based dementia care ommunity based dementia care is a new and unfamiliar concept and systems need to be developed further.
All the involved regions have similar needs to enhance dementia specific knowledge at local levels through community awareness initiatives, to provide consultative support, and to provide safety and security for people with dementia and their families.
All see the importance of involving young people in the support of people with dementia as population changes mean higher numbers of older people and fewer young people, but this requires young people to see dementia support as a viable and valid career path. This is particularly true in remote areas where young people often move to towns and cities in search of better employment opportunities.
Meeting the challenge
In order to meet these challenges, the Remodem project will develop and test an integrated service package for people with dementia living in remote rural communities, which allows and supports them to continue living in their current homes and postpones their placement in institutional care.
This will be achieved through modules of support incorporating tested ICT services, off-the-shelf ICT solutions and developed mature and tested technologies across all modules of support.
The modules will give people with dementia improved access to qualified dementia-specific community support and enable more cost-efficient care. The modules will respond both to the direct support needs of people with dementia and the needs of others who support them among family and friends, health and care professionals, and care providers.
Examples of modules
- Module for direct support of the person with dementia. This might include activity supports such as navigation aids and wayfinding devices, communication aids, such as picture dialling and video-calling, and memory supports such as reminiscence aids and reminder services.
- Module for support of family and other informal carers. Services in this module could include, for example, specialist help-lines for family members managed by dementia teams, community supported respite services and peer support services such as web-based networking with other families supporting a person with dementia.
- Module for support to professionals. This module might include dementia-specific educational resources for generalist health and care professionals and videoconferencing services to allow access to remote consultations with specialist dementia teams.
- Modules to support community members. Services in this module could include, for example, specially tailored programmes to engage young people in dementia support as a professional career.
- Modules for information exchange between organisations: This might include web-based local, national and transnational networks for knowledge exchange about best practices in community-based support for people with dementia.
- Modules for community awareness. Services in this module would inform and educate communities about dementia generally and about community-based support, for example through public seminars, public websites.
- Module for service integration. This module would focus on ways of tailoring the service package to the individual needs of people with dementia, or of families who support people with dementia, or to the cultural contexts of different regions through the selection of modules and solutions that together produce an integrated service.
The support tool
RemoDem is a decision support tool for use in planning the provision of dementia-related services in remote rural areas. It provides access to technical data and to information on the available evidence on acceptability and efficacy of deployment of different technologies.
Dementia-related services include:
- the direct support of people with dementia
- services for informal supporters
- professional support services
- services aimed at communities and community members
RemoDem will provide structured access to both summarised and detailed information. The RemoDem tool presents information in ‘modules’ which focus on different areas of service provision. Each module user will be able to browse ‘solution concepts’ for identified needs and access data on specific technologies delivering each solution concept.
The RemoDem tool does not make decisions; it is a tool to aid decision-making which draws on published literature and transnational learning to help inform decisions by summarising the evidence base and detailing technical requirements for implementation of tried and tested potential solutions.
RemoDem will be able to support organisations in planning the implementation of national and local dementia strategies. RemoDem modules are arranged so that users can access information on different areas of service provision in line with local priorities.
The RemoDem tool will also allow users to browse available data by ‘solution concept’. In this way decision-makers will be able to access evidence of acceptance and efficacy of the solution concept and existing technologies delivering that solution which will assist them in evaluating new product offerings.
The project started on October 1, 2012 and will end in September 2014.