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New Research Focuses on Wayfinding by People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Alzheimer's Disease, research, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

New Research Focuses on Wayfinding by People with Alzheimer’s Disease

The more we know about how humans are able to find their way (and why we get lost), the better chance we have of making navigation easier for everyone.

A story by Lisa Ermak about research underway concerning wayfinding for people with Alzheimer’s disease appears on

Associate Professor of Nursing at Grand Valley State University, Rebecca Davis, is using projected virtual reality and eye-tracking glasses to study how people with Alzheimer’s perceive their surroundings and whether they pay attention to colorful cues (aka landmarks).

The story quotes Davis as saying, “As a nurse, I have noticed how often it is that people get lost in senior facilities,” noting that many retirement and continuing care facilities have long, non-descript hallways, which make it difficult for residents to find their way to the dining hall or their room.  “And when you add a disease like Alzheimer’s to the equation, finding your way can become even more confusing.”

Davis hopes the resulting data will help institutions and families provide more supportive living environments that are easier to navigate.

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If you’re directionally challenged you need the award-winning book, Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around, by Janet R. Carpman and Myron A. Grant.


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