Caring about Communication: How to Optimize the Communication Between Care Robots and People with Dementia
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Different kind of Care Robots have been in use for some time and display positive effects when used with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients, in order to improve their daily activities. Although the effects are positive, there is always room for improvement. In this thesis I will find out how the communication between Socially Assistive Robots (SAR’s) and AD patients can be optimized. First, I will look at what dementia patients and AD patients need when it comes to communication and then I will compare this to what current SAR’s can offer. Apart from this I will also discuss the question whether optimized communication should be pleasant or effective. I conclude that if the communication is pleasant, it would lead to the most effective communication. For these topics, I used medical books, current research on the topics and interviews with a nursing student and a technology for innovations in care professor. I also used manuals from two SAR’s (Tessa from Tinybots and Zora from Zorarobotics). With this research, I conclude that current SAR’s are lacking when it comes to communication with AD patients and could improve. Using these findings, an advice is formed towards future SAR developers.