Acceptance and adoption of social robots into everyday life for people with dementia

back to Projects homepage

Germany Germany German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases – DZNE

Early Stage Researcher (ESR4)

ESR4: photo of Simone Felding

Simone Felding

Email icon Linkedin icon Twitter icon University profile icon


Prof. Martina Roes

Email icon University profile icon


Nete Schwennesen

Email icon University profile icon

Sonja Teupen

Email icon University profile icon

As an Early Stage Researcher in DISTINCT I will observe how a social robot interacts with people with dementia living in nursing homes, which is linked to how social robots are implemented in long-term care.

I come from a background in cultural anthropology from the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (BSc, MSc) including a semester at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík.

Throughout my studies, I have been interested in the anthropology of health. While being a Master of Science student I developed a research interest in dementia. In my previous employments as a Research Assistant at the University of Copenhagen, I have looked at life with dementia at nursing homes, the complicated relations between people with dementia, their relatives and care staff, and the implementation of technologies aimed at improving life with dementia. I look forward to expanding my knowledge and learning more about these topics.

Start date October 2019
Duration 36 months


This project will address the acceptance and adoption of social robots into everyday life for people with dementia living in nursing homes. This study will characterise the implementation processes from the perspective of the users and will be conducted as a qualitative, ethnographic study. This includes a literature review on the barriers and facilitators of acceptance of social robots in nursing homes, as well as participant observation and qualitative interviews with people with dementia, staff and informal caregivers while using social robots over a period of 4-6 months.

Expected Results

Insights into the understanding of the use and utilization of social robots and their impact on social interaction, participation and the role of the family (caregiver) and nursing home staff and a better understanding of requirements of social robots to fit well into habitual practices, routines and cultures how to generate positive emotions; being user-friendly, adaptable and manageable; and engage carers.

Planned secondment(s)

Two of 3 months each. The first in year one with AE to develop the longitudinal case study and to gain better understanding of dementia activities for people with dementia and lay persons. The 2nd secondment with Karolinska Institute to gain better understanding of social robot technology.



  1. Koh, W. Q., Felding, S. A., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021). Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia: a scoping review protocol. Systematic reviews, 10(1), 1-6. doi: 10.1186/s13643-021-01598-5
  2. Koh, W. Q., Felding, S. A., Budak, K. B., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021). Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia: a scoping review. BMC Geriatrics, 21(1), 1-17. doi: 10.1186/s12877-021-02277-9.
  3. Felding, Simone Anna, Wei Qi Koh, Sonja Teupen, Kübra Beliz Budak, Franziska Laporte Uribe, and Martina Roes. 2023. A scoping review using the Almere Model to understand factors facilitating and hindering acceptance of social robots in nursing homes. International Journal of Social Robotics (2023).
  4.  Kübra Beliz Budak, Golnaz Atefi, Viktoria Hoel, Franziska Laporte Uribe, Franka Meiland, Sonja Teupen, Simone Anna Felding & Martina Roes (2021) Can technology impact loneliness in dementia? A scoping review on the role of assistive technologies in delivering psychosocial interventions in long-term care, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2021.1984594


  1. Felding, S.A., Teupen, S., & Roes, M. (2022, 17-19 October). Main findings of the DISTINCT projects on technology to promote social health [Symposium presentation]. 32nd Alzheimer Europe Conference. Bucharest, Romania
  2. Felding, S.A., Koh, W.Q., Teupen, S., Budak, K.B., Laporte-Uribe, F. & Roes, M. (2021, 29 November-1 December). “At first, “At first, I thought it makes no sense. But then I began to like him” – Results from a scoping review on acceptance of social robots in nursing homes [Quick oral presentation]. 31st Alzheimer Europe Conference. Virtual, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. Koh, W. Q*., Felding, S. A., Budak, K. B., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021, July 15-16). What are the barriers and facilitators affecting the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia: A scoping review [Rapid oral-poster presentation]. 4th UK Implementation Science Conference. (Best rapid oral-poster presentation) (*presenting author)
  4. Felding, Simone Anna. (2023, May 31). “Dyrerobotter på plejehjem: Hvordan kan de bruges i en travl hverdag?” Social Robots and Sensory Stimulated Technologies. Dansk Teknologisk Institut and VIA University College, Odense, Denmark.
  5.  Felding, Simone Anna (2022, November 9-13). “Caring for care robots in a nursing home for people with dementia” as part of the AAGE-sponsored symposium “Caring For Varied Aging Populations In Senior Housings And Facilities As Cultural Spaces” as part of the panel “Caring for Varied Aging Populations in Senior Housings and Facilities as Cultural Spaces” sponsored by The Association for Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course (AAGE). American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) Annual meeting, Seattle, USA.
  6. Felding, Simone Anna (2022, July 26-29) “The woman with the dog: Robots, ethnographer and care in a Danish nursing home for people with dementia” as part of the panel “Digital Transformations and Social Life”, sponsored by the Future Anthropologies Network. The European Association for Social Anthropologists (EASA) biennial conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  7. Felding, Simone Anna (2022, May 30). “The woman with the dog: weird relationships between pet robots and other critters”. Cognitive Difference, Kinship and the State, seminar at VIVE, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  8. Koh, Wei Qi, Felding, Simone Anna, Casey, Dympna (2020, October 20-22) Poster: PO1.20 “Understanding the Barriers and Facilitators Affecting the Implementation of Social Robots for Older Adults including People with Dementia: A Scoping Review”. 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Online.

Other Dissemination Activities:

  1. Co-author of the Alzheimer Europe guideline “Sex, Gender and Sexuality in the Context of Dementia – A guide to raise awareness amongst health and social care workers” published in January 2023
  2. Presented at Alzheimer Europe’s Alzheimer’s Association Academy on Public Involvement in dementia research, presenting about Public Involvement Activities in DISTINCT, December 2012.
  3. Dementia Researcher podcast about evaluation and implementation of technology together with ESR’s Beliz Budak and David Neal, November 2022.
  4. Dementia Researcher podcast with highlights from the 32nd Alzheimer Europe conference, October 2022.
  5. Facilitated a workshop for health and social care professionals at the UK Durham and Darlington Care Home Liaison Hub (CHL) Forum in collaboration with ESR Wei Qi Koh, July 2022, “Pet robots for residents with dementia in long-term care settings”.
  6. Article in Magazine for German nurses in dementia care: Felding, Simone Anna. (2022). Wie akzeptiert sind Soziale Roboter in der stationären Pflege? Eine Literaturstudie zu förderlichen und hinderlichen Faktoren. Pflegen: Demenz 62(1):24-28.