New technology and tech innovations that can assist seniors with dementia
From home monitoring devices to medication management devices, there are many forms of assistive technology out there today that can help seniors suffering from dementia. Dementia can be frightening, confusing and overwhelming, for both caregivers and patients alike. However, new technologies are designed to ease that anxiety, create routines and enhance the quality of life for all involved. Such assistive technology promotes autonomy and independence, manages potential safety risks around the home and reduces stress.
Check out these popular technological innovations for caregivers and those suffering from dementia:
Special clocks can lessen anxiety associated with a dementia diagnosis. Those with dementia often confuse day and night, so an easy-to-read clock placed in a central location can help them distinguish the time. On top of that, caregivers can also use such a clock to set routines and reinforce times.
2. Communication Aids
Staying connected with others is vital to quality of life. Research shows people with dementia can recall how an event has made them feel, even if they can no longer remember faces and names, says Alzheimers.net. Technology makes staying in contact with loved ones easy, such as through adapted telephones that are pre-programmed with frequently-dialed numbers and that feature large buttons. Video chat platforms such as FaceTime and Skype can connect those who are located far away from the person with dementia.
Not only will your loved one be able to see your face and hear your voice remotely, you can do the same to them: see their environment and observe their face and behavior, which can give you clues as to their health and how they are feeling. As dementia moves further along and communication becomes harder, there are apps they can use to communicate feelings through the selection of pictures and symbols.
3. GPS Location and Tracking Devices
Location tracking devices can be extremely helpful for dementia patients who have a tendency to wander off. They can be worn on the body, and they feature alert systems that tell a caregiver if they have left a designated area. This same technology can also alert emergency personnel to make sure the person is found quickly and unharmed.
4. Electrical Appliance Use Monitoring
Designed for caregivers who do not live with their aging parents, this technology monitors the use of appliances, alerting caregivers if those appliances have not been turned on or off. This offers an obvious safety benefit, in an effort to reduce the chance of fire.
5. Home Monitoring Devices
You can use home monitoring devices to turn lights on and off, change the thermostat setting, and ensure a variety of safety measures, all via smartphone. Again, this is also a great tool for those who live apart from their loved one with dementia. Similarly, in-home cameras make managing dementia care at a distance much easier. You can place the focus of the camera on medication, or you can place it in the main living room. Such technology gives you peace of mind knowing your loved one is active and is taking the proper amount and type of medication.
6. Medication Management
Medication management technology can include automated pill dispensers that beep to remind caregivers and those living with dementia to take their medication. This can also come in the form of a watch, which will vibrate as a reminder. Reminder message are another form of technology that can be recorded on a device beforehand and then played back out loud at the specified time. Some will play messages that depend on the person’s activity, such as an alert to lock the front door when they leave. Others remind caregivers and patients of appointments.
7. Home Care Robots
Created to help, not replace, human caregivers, home care robots can do anything from general housework to remind residents of medications. This form of technology still has a lot of growing to do, but it’s on the horizon.
When choosing assistive technologies for your loved one with dementia, the AARP suggests you take these factors into consideration:
Once you answer these questions, you will be better able to make a determination regarding the best assistive technology. Give us a call today to learn about our caregiving services and how we can help your loved one with dementia
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