Closer to nature: Multi-sensory engagement in interactive nature experience for seniors with dementia

Yuan Feng, Suihuai Yu, Dirk van de Mortel, Emilia Barakova, Matthias Rauterberg, Jun Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


People with dementia experience gradually diminished functional abilities caused by this disease. Declined cognitive functioning, increased difficulties in mobility, loss of memory and the lack of inner motivation provides inevitable challenges in engaging this group of people in activities. In this paper, we elaborate on the possibilities of utilizing an iterative installation design, based on the original prototype of Closer to Nature for improving quality of life of people with dementia in Long-Term Care. The installation was built as a permanent part of the living environment in a Dutch nursing home with the purpose of long-term use. User evaluation in real-life setting was conducted with 15 residents, 4 family members and 2 professional caregivers. Preliminary user feedback was gathered through interviews and showed sufficient positive evidence of enhanced engagement. Additionally, a new design concept developed upon insights from the user evaluation is introduced which utilizes a plaster goat covered with sensors for initiating interactions. Implications and future studies of the designs are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Chinese CHI 2018 - 6th International Symposium of Chinese CHI, ChineseCHI 2018
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages8
VolumePart F137135
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6508-6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2018
Event6th International Symposium of Chinese CHI (ChineseCHI 2018) - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201822 Apr 2018
Conference number: 6

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference6th International Symposium of Chinese CHI (ChineseCHI 2018)
Abbreviated titleChinese CHI2018
Internet address


  • Interaction design
  • Long-term care
  • Multi-sensory stimulation
  • People with dementia


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