Annamaria is a widow of 76 years old. She lives by herself in a small apartment in the outskirts of Florence (Italy). She has a 54-year-old son, Simone, who lives with his family 30 kilometers from her home. For most of her adult life, Annamaria has been a wife, a house maker and a mother who used to make ends meet by working from home as a dressmaker.
During recent weeks Simone noticed that Annamaria was experiencing increasing problems in finding words and expressing herself coherently. He also found out that over the past couple of weeks she got lost twice on her way back from the local street market.
Concerned for his mother, Simone decides to take Annamaria to the Memory Clinic for a check up on her cognitive functions. The neurocognitive and physical tests show a mild cognitive decline that affects Annamaria’s abilities to perform daily activities such as preparing her own meals, personal hygiene routines, and orientation to space. She also has developed osteoporosis, which compromises her balance and gait, putting her at a high risk of falls.
The geriatrician explains to Simone that he recommends a service designed:
- to help her organize her daily routines, tasks and appointments
- to train her brain to maintain memory functions
- to help her in being oriented in time and space
- to monitor her health status (for example in case of comorbity)
- to give a warning in case of possible falls.
Simone wants to search for the most suitable solution for his mother and decides to use the MAESTRO platform. This platform is easy to use, it has some educational material to support the user to better understand the problems associated with early stage dementia; it offers a list of devices, systems and technical solutions specific for patients with mild dementia; for each one there is a ranking based on various kind of indices such as usability, acceptance, cost, user-friendliness, social impact, legal aspects, and so on.
For each solution or service the platform allows the user to write personal observations about unmet needs, possible changes and difficulties using that system. Therefore Simone can read not only the systematic evaluation but also other users’ comments.
In addition the MAESTRO platform has an open forum where Simone can post and discuss with other caregivers his personal issues concerning his care of Annamaria.
Based on the ranking offered by the platform Simone can find the most suitable dementia care service for his mother Annamaria.
After using the selected service for more than 3 months, Annamaria realizes that it is helping her to keep track of her daily activities and appointments; it helps her in reminiscence; she feels safe being alone at her home. She also enjoys the educational material that Simone found on the platform and that he provided to her. It helps her to better understand her own symptoms of dementia and adopt more efficient strategies to cope with them.