Mrs B. is an older woman who has recently widowed and is now living in the same town as her daughter. Nevertheless there is such a distance between them that prevents her daughter from constantly visiting her and seeing if everything is alright. While this distance arrangement has successfully worked while Mr. B was alive, after his death, Mrs B’s daughter finds herself worrying more intensely about her mother, afraid that she might fall at any time, without having someone to help her. She is thinking about hiring a personal caretaker, but her mother will not accept full time care. Finally, her mother is already showing some signs of memory loss, a definite sign of cognitive decline.
LLM can be used very effectively in this scenario. First of all, it would be easier for Mrs B. to accept having the LLM service installed, since it would be less intrusive than the presence of a full-time professional caregiver. The LLM’s eHome environment would monitor Mrs B.’s movements and notify her daughter at home or on her mobile phone if anything went wrong. LLM would also create a training programme tailored to Mrs B’s condition. This training programme would include both cognitive exercises as well as physical training equipment, which in Mrs. B.’s case would be a recumbent bike.
Typical usage of the service might be similar to the following scenario: Mrs B. wakes up. After finishing her breakfast, she sits on her armchair and uses the touch screen to initiate the cognitive training procedure. A number of exercises appear and Mrs B. clicks on the correct answer by putting her finger on the corresponding button-image on the screen. At any time she can stop the procedure by clicking on the corresponding button; otherwise the procedure will eventually finish for this day, asking her to return tomorrow. During the afternoon the system suggests to her that she should sit on the recumbent bike and follow the training programme according to the displays on the screen. Since Mrs B. has improved during the last two weeks the programme will set a slightly more challenging physical programme and monitor her performance. If she can keep up with the pace then after two weeks, a more intense workout will be proposed. Otherwise, the system will return to the previous pace and will display related messages accordingly.
The effects on the lives of Mrs B. and her daughter are various: Mrs B. herself feels more self-reliant and independent, not only because she can move freely around the house with fewer worries, but also because she is feeling physically and mentally fit. Furthermore, her daughter is not fearful about her mother being helpless, since she knows that in the case of an emergency the system will immediately notify her. Finally, on a less important -but still quite relevant- level, her family has avoided high financial costs associated with engaging a 24 hour caregiver. They have also avoided the costs, both financial and emotional, associated with any intensive care or hospitalization needs of Mrs. B, by prolonging her cognitive and physical well-being.