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Students involved in gaining insight in experiences of people with dementia and older people with physical impairments

By Zsuzsu Tavy, The Hague University of Applied Sciences

At the Hague University of Applied Sciences students of different backgrounds helped to collect experiences from people with dementia. Backgrounds included nursing students and students with a technical background. Interviews were held with people with dementia together with their informal caregivers. Students noticed how informal caregivers can feel an emotional burden, and how people with dementia could experience the difficulties of people talking about them without them.

To gain insight in the experiences of older people with physical impairments, people were asked to keep track of their experiences in a diary, which was discussed afterwards. Use of this method seemed to have a positive effect on the recollection of experiences.

Apart from the insight gained for the development of the characters for the BIG game, students really felt the direct contact and conversations with people opened their eyes regarding the experiences people face in their daily life.