INTERDEM has various Taskforces in which committed members work together regarding a specific theme. These Taskforces are

Assitive Technology

Taskforce Assistive Technologies (lead: Dr. Franka Meiland, Prof. Manuel Franco).

Established in 2012 (Meiland, Innes)

Problem to address:  With the expected growing number of people with dementia, it will be challenging to provide timely, personalised, high quality and affordable care and support. Assistive technologies may be a valuable contribution in dementia care. However, various challenges in the field of assistive technologies have been acknowledged, such as: the predominant usage of technological solutions for safety and security,  the slow adoption, commercialisation and implementation of assistive technologies, the lack of high quality scientific research into the (cost-) effectiveness of assistive technologies,  the limited attention for aesthetics of technological support systems which can make them stigmatising, the influence of technology on changing relationships between care recipient and professional, the lack of easy access information about the products and how to obtain them, etc.. Collaborating in an European network of researchers may help to move this field forward.

Aim: To collaborate with INTERDEM colleagues in research and writing on Assistive technologies in dementia with the goal to achieve successful development, evaluation and implementation of Assistive technologies and thus contributing to a better quality of life of people with dementia and their family carers, and to a good organisation of care and supporting the staff.


  • Organisation of symposia on this field (Symposium Technology: technological support in dementia and late life depression, IPA conference 2015; Empowering technologies at Alzheimer Europe conference 2017; Implementation of technologies at Alzheimer Europe conference 2018)
  • Share news and opportunities for funding
  • Collaborating in research proposals and projects (Exergaming, Rural-Path, INDUCT, DISTINCT)
  • Publications: State of the art position paper 2017, see http://rehab.jmir.org/2017/1/e1/ , currently working on paper on implementation of assistive technologies in dementia care

Social Health

Taskforce Social Health (lead: Prof. dr. Myrra Vernooij-Dassen, Dr, Dorata  Szczesniak, Prof. Dr. Marjolein de Vugt)

Established in 2014 (Droes, Charras)


Dementia is a multi-factorial syndrome. Acknowledging the multi-factorial nature might help to overcome the paucity in dementia research and contribute to the explanation of the discrepancy between neuropathology and clinical symptoms and to its emotional and psychosocial consequences. It requires not only exploring the role of biomarkers, but also those other influential factors such as social markers. However, only a minority of dementia studies includes social markers. Therefore INTERDEM launched the social health in dementia theme by establishing a taskforce on social health. In a key publication entitled “social health and dementia: the power of human capabilities”  the relevance and basic conceptualisation was described (Vernooij-Dassen, Jeon, 2016). This publication paved the way to further explore its conceptualisation and operationalization  (Droes et al., 2017). In order to learn more about ongoing research related to social health, INTERDEM led two special issues (de Vugt , Droes, 2017; Vernooij-Dassen, Moniz-Cook, Jeon,  2018 ). A next step was INTERDEM setting the agenda for future dementia research in a new Manifesto (Vernooij-Dassen et al., 2019). In this Manifesto we  hypothesize that social health can act as the driver for accessing cognitive reserve in people with dementia, through active facilitation and utilization of social and environmental resources. This hypothesis guides several new ambitious interdisciplinary dementia studies: for example a study on the influence of social health on the onset of dementia (Kas et al.) and on the course  of dementia (Ikram et al.) and a study on the influence of social activities on brain health (Koehler et al., 2020). These and other studies into the relation between social health and cognition might provide a valuable contribution to focused interventions that help to sustain social health and cognition. The additional value of the taskforce is to continuously promote the theme of social health both in research as well as in practice beyond individual research projects.


To collaborate with INTERDEM colleagues in research and writing on social health in dementia. The concept of social health constitutes an umbrella to cover a variety of social markers or indicators. The goals are promoting the social health concept as a key marker in integrated dementia research and to achieve successful development, evaluation and implementation of social health interventions. Thus contributing to bridging the gap with biomedical research and understanding underlying mechanisms and contributing to a better quality of life of people with dementia and their family carers, and to prevention of dementia.


  • Organisation of symposia and participation on this field (Alzheimer Europe, IPA, JPND..)
  • Provide overview of existing social health interventions in dementia and relevant outcome measures
  • Share news and opportunities for funding
  • Collaborating in research proposals and projects
  • Collaboration of members in survey on social health operationalization in ongoing research
  • Collaboration with INTERDEM Academy
  • Publications


  • Ikram A, V. M., Melis R, Perry M, Vernooij-Dassen M, Welmer AK, Hui-Xin Wang,  Calderón-Larrañaga A, Dekhtyar S, Brodaty H, Sachdev P, Lipnicki D, Davis D, Richards M, Ploubidis G, Patalay P, Wolf-Ostermann K, Gerhardus A, Rymasewska J, Szuba A, Zatońska K, Szcześniak D, Leoutsakos JM, Astuti, Effendy C, Thyrian R, Chattat R, Jeon JH. (2019). Social Health And Reserve in the Dementia patient journey (SHARED). In: European Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND).
  • Dröes, R., Chattat, R., Diaz, A., Gove, D., Graff, M., Murphy, K., . . . Johannessen, A. (2017). Social health and dementia: a European consensus on the operationalization of the concept and directions for research and practice. Aging & mental health, 21(1), 4-17.
  • de Vugt, M., & Dröes, R.-M. (2017). Social health in dementia. Towards a positive dementia discourse. In: Taylor & Francis.
  • Kas M, V. d. Z. E., Eisel U, Ikram A, Vernooij M, Melis R, Perry M, Vernooij-Dassen M. (2018). Social factors in cognitive decline and dementia: towards an early intervention approach. In. Netherlands: Memorabel/ZONMW.
  • Vernooij-Dassen, M., & Jeon, Y.-H. (2016). Social health and dementia: the power of human capabilities. Int Psychogeriatr, 28(5), 701-703. doi:10.1017/S1041610216000260
  • Vernooij-Dassen, M., Moniz-Cook, E., & Jeon, Y. H. (2018). Social health in dementia care: harnessing an applied research agenda. Int Psychogeriatr, 30(6), 775-778. doi:10.1017/s1041610217002769
  • Vernooij-Dassen M., Moniz-Cook, E., Verhey, F., Chattat, R., Woods, B., Meiland, F., Franco, M., Holmerova, I., Orrell, M. & De Vugt, M. 2019. Bridging the divide between biomedical and psychosocial approaches in dementia research: the 2019 INTERDEM manifesto. Aging Ment Health, 1-7.



Primary prevention


Environment/ architecture


Intercultural aspects