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Smart home technologies hold potential to help older adults with dementia complete activities independently, while alleviating the burden placed on their informal caregivers. Toward this goal, more research focus is needed to involve informal caregivers in the needs analysis and design of smart home user interfaces, for which they are likely to become primary users in the future. In this paper, we present our participatory design approach and the tensions that challenge user interface design for the intelligent COACH system that assists with activities of daily living in the home. Future work should involve older adults with dementia and other care stakeholders in user-centered design processes, and the development of systematic, interdisciplinary approaches for user interface design.
Date of Conference: 21-24 May 2012