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

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Germany Germany German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases – DZNE

Early Stage Researcher (ESR4)

ESR4: photo of Simone Felding

Simone Felding

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Prof. Martina Roes

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Nete Schwennesen

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Sonja Teupen

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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.