Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatr. Apr 19, 2021; 11(4): 109-123
Published online Apr 19, 2021. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i4.109
Use of technology and social media in dementia care: Current and future directions
Sara Shu, Benjamin KP Woo
Sara Shu, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766, United States
Benjamin KP Woo, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, Sylmar, CA 91104, United States
Author contributions: Shu S and Woo BKP both performed the collection of data and contributed to the manuscript drafting.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest regarding the content of this manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Benjamin KP Woo, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, 14445 Olive View Drive, Sylmar, CA 91104, United States.
Received: January 5, 2021
Peer-review started: January 5, 2021
First decision: January 27, 2021
Revised: February 17, 2021
Accepted: March 18, 2021
Article in press: March 18, 2021
Published online: April 19, 2021

As the population across the globe continues to dramatically increase, the prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia will inevitably increase as well, placing increasing burden on families and health care systems. Technological advancements over the past decade provide potential benefit in not only relieving caregiver burden of caring for a loved one with dementia, but also enables individuals with dementia to age in place. Technological devices have served to improve functioning, tracking and mobility. Similarly, smartphones, tablets and the ubiquitous world wide web have facilitated the dissemination of health information to previously hard to reach populations largely through use of various social media platforms. In this review, we discuss the current and future uses of technology via devices and social media to promote healthy aging in individuals with dementia, and also limitations and challenges to consider in the future.

Keywords: Dementia, Technology, Gerotechnology, Social media, Geriatrics, Wearable technology, Health promotion, Home health, Monitoring

Core Tip: Technological advancements have the potential to re-define successful aging at home for individuals with dementia, bestowing sustained autonomy and independence, and also providing relief for families and caregivers. As gerotechnology continues to develop and is integrated into everyday life, research also continues to study how best to optimize usage and address older adults’ preferences and concerns. Aims of this review are to examine and summarize current literature and technologies available and forthcoming that aid in diagnosis and successful aging in place, as well as challenges to be overcome.