Technological advances present a more convenient alternative for many facets of our daily life, some of which can make a real difference in taking some burden off the caregiver and keeping persons with dementia more comfortable and safe.
With the number of options out there, figuring out what’s a good fit for you and your loved one can be tough. Above all, the person with dementia’s reaction to the technology is the most important—for example, voice-assistants were previously considered to be good at reducing feelings of social isolation and boredom, but it has been found that the unfamiliar robotic voice may cause distress to people with dementia. It’s also important to consider factors like ease of use and safety when making your selection.
As a start, we’ve put together a list of some innovations that might make a difference in your loved one’s dementia journey.
What makes these better than a traditional printed calendar? Plenty! With calendar apps, you can set automated reminders that will help you keep track of things like your loved one’s medication schedules and medical appointments. You can even share the calendar with others, which can be helpful for other caregivers to step in and help for certain appointments, or simply to keep the rest of the family in the loop.
Video calling is great for checking in at a distance, while being able to see the condition of your loved one for yourself—useful for family who are unable to be physically there with the person with dementia to keep in touch, and for caregivers to those with mild dementia who are still living on their own.
Smart Home Monitoring
Motion Sensors for a smart home can help be useful in alerting you if there has been a lack of movement detected, and if your loved one has went into a commonly used room. There are also pressure sensing floor mats which you can place strategically—say at the kitchen entrance—to remind your loved one to check that the stove is off, and other such reminders.
In-home cameras are another great way to keep an eye on your loved one’s safety, useful whether they’re living on their own for the time, or if you’re out on an errand and want to check back in on the situation at home.
Installing lights that come on when they sense movement and go off when the room has been empty for a set time can be a great addition. For example, if the person with dementia wakes up in the middle of the night needing to use the toilet, the lights will come on without them having to fiddle around looking for the switch.
For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Dementia Helpline at 6377 0700, Monday to Friday (9am to 6pm).
This article is reproduced from the Alzheimer’s Disease Association’s website. For more dementia-related content, visit www.alz.org.sg
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