Enabling Ageing in Place through Visitor Recognition and Monitoring Technology

By Angus Dickey, Jacob Slonim and Michael McAllister.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many western countries around the world are experiencing a shift in population toward a higher percentage of older members. The increased care requirements and rising health care costs associated with this demographic shift are a concern to elderly care planners. In response to these developing issues Marek and Rantz have proposed a model known as Ageing in Place; it has been shown to result in health and social benefits to the elderly as well as lowered cost to the health care system. A common problem in the elderly population is memory loss, and more specifically, face-name memory loss attributed to a condition known as mild cognitive impairment. With enabling the ageing in place model in mind, this study proposes an assistive technology designed to help elderly people deal with the safety risks of living at home with face-name memory loss. Put simply, the proposed device monitors the front door for approaching visitors, attempts identification of the individual, then notifies the occupant if the visitor is known to them. A prototype device based on existing facial detection and recognition algorithms is designed, implemented, and the results are discussed.

Keywords: Face Recognition, Face Detection, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Memory, Assistive Technology, Elderly, Senior, Ageing in Place, Assisted Living

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.15-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.816MB).

Angus Dickey

Graduate Student, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

A recent graduate of Dalhousie University with a Master of Applied Computer Science degree; research interests include privacy, health care management, and geomatics. Currently working as a geospatial technology consultant.

Dr. Jacob Slonim

Full professor, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dr. Jacob Slonim is a graduate of Kansas State University with a PhD. in Computer Science (1979). He is currently a full professor and the past Dean of new faculty of computer science at Dalhousie University in Canada. Dr. Slonim’s teaching is focused on Database, Transaction Management, software Engineering, and software ethics both to undergraduate and graduate program. Dr. Slonim’s professional start was in the I.T. industry where he establish, in 1989, the Center for advanced studies at IBM and was with the Center for ten years before moving to academia. Dr. Slonim published over 80 refereed papers and has several books and five patents. As well as participating in many conferences he was on editorial boards of several journals and was chair of several computer science conferences and workshops. Dr. Slonim’s research interests have varied though the years, starting in database and transaction management and moving to the the use of technology for the elderly people for the past seven years. Dr. Slonim placed a strong emphasis on the practical application of research and in strong partnership with industry, hospitals, and other public stake holder.

Dr. Michael McAllister

Associate Professor, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mike McAllister is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. He completed his PhD in Computer Science at UBC in 1999 with a focus on computational geometry. His research interests also include distributed systems and computer networks.