The role of everyday sounds in advanced dementia care

Maarten Houben, Rens Brankaert, Saskia Bakker, Gail Kenning, Inge Bongers, Berry Eggen

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

36 Citations (Scopus)
834 Downloads (Pure)


The representation of sounds derived from everyday life can be beneficial for people with dementia by evoking memories and emotional responses. Despite this potential, integrating sound and sound-based interventions in care facilities has not received much research attention. In this paper, we present the findings from a field study that explored the responses of 19 people with advanced dementia to a selection of everyday sounds presented to them in a care home and the role of these responses in the care environment. To study this, we deployed Vita, a ‘pillow-like’ sound player, in two dementia care facilities for four weeks, during which observations were recorded. Afterwards, we conducted interviews with caregivers who used Vita in everyday care practice. Our findings reveal how everyday sounds provided by Vita stimulated meaningful conversation, playfulness, and connection between residents and caregivers. Furthermore, we propose design implications for integrating everyday sounds in dementia care.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - (CHI '20)
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherACM Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020
Event2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020 - Hawaiʻi Convention Center, Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020


Conference2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020
Abbreviated titleCHI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • care home
  • dementia
  • design
  • everyday sounds
  • soundscapes


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  • Best Paper Award CHI'20

    Houben, Maarten (Recipient), 2020

    Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

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