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An Animated Agent Tool for Understanding the Needs of the Elderly

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Japan and several other countries are facing issues related to their ageing population, and solving these issues has become crucial in various areas of our lives. The need for in-home care is rapidly increasing. More and more family members must care for the elderly or for members with cognitive diseases in their own homes. Moreover, it has been observed that many issues with the elderly or with members with a cognitive disease are caused due to misunderstanding. It is therefore becoming crucial for family members and care givers to learn how to understand the needs of the elderly or persons with cognitive disease. In this study, we propose a tool with animated agents for learning proper communication strategies in different situations. In the tool, the animated agent plays the role of an elderly or a person with a cognitive disease, users answer the questions posed by the agent, and the tool provides feedback on whether or not the user's answer was appropriate. By using the tool users will be able to learn how to better communicate with the elderly or persons with a cognitive disease and thus provide better care.