Navigation Support for Older Travellers with Memory Decline

Navigation and orientation in new surroundings require good mental abilities. Age-conditioned memory decline, light cognitive
impairment caused by stroke or dementia, decreases these abilities. Often, affected people fear to get lost. They withdraw and take
less and less part in social life and interaction.

The project NavMem supports affected people with orientation and navigation via a companion that operates unobtrusive and which therefore does not limit spontaneity and the individual freedom to investigate new environments. The mobile application is directed at all pedestrians but offers an extra feature to support people with limited sense of orientation. The system provides the user with various types of unobtrusive and easy to understand help, with orientation, and navigation. A “security rope” enables relatives or carers to determine the user´s whereabouts in case of disorientation.

To make sure that the system corresponds to the users´ wishes, end users are involved in all design and developing activities. Two field tests with 30 people for more than a total of 6 months will give certainty about the unlimited everyday suitability. OFFIS co-ordinates the 3-year European project with six other partners from Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Great Britain involved.