Dementia, like any other disease, is an illness that is challenging to a family or loved ones if it is not diagnosed in a timely manner.
Dementia impacts the mind in many ways; patients almost always lose their memories, there are significant changes in their personalities, they go through extreme mood swings, and cannot make decisions on their own. Since many patients experience the disease differently, we often get to hear myths and self-created stories about the illness, and not many people understand that dementia is a manageable condition. You just need to have a clear understanding of what dementia is and how it can be managed to make the journey easier.
Technology plays a powerful role in our lives. In fact, the apps and software have improved the world in just about every field you can think of. New and latest technologies are being introduced that can help ease anxiety and improve the quality of life for everyone involved, allowing people to live meaningful lives.
The technology which makes the everyday lives of people easier is called ‘assistive technology’ and can promote freedom and autonomy, reduce stress and anxiety and handle potential safety risks around the home.
Whether it is for engaging a family member with dementia, managing behaviors, creating a safer environment, or just observing them from a distance, technology has taken a place in caring for our dear ones by providing some much-needed help both for those living with dementia and for their caregivers.
Here is a list of innovations that highlight how technology has progressed today and how people with dementia and their caregivers are benefiting from these advancements.
Reminders messages are very helpful as they keep properties and loved ones safe. You can record important messages on a device in the home and then play back loudly when needed. For instance, a caregiver may record a message for the patient reminding to take medications at the right time. Some devices are designed in such a way that they play messages depending on the patients’ activity in the moment. For example, if a person with dementia intends to leave the house, a reminder message could alert them to lock the door. This technology can also be helpful in reminding patients of their appointments. Other reminder messages can also let patients know not to open the door, to go back to bed and to provide support when the caregiver is not around.
Clocks specially designed for people with dementia or another type of memory loss disease can help ease stress and anxiety associated with a diagnosis. People with dementia often confuse night and day, but an easy to read clock can help them distinguish the right time. This greatly helps the caregivers also who try to set a routine by showing their loved one that it actually is the time they say it is.
Medication management technology
This is an extremely helpful technology and can be as simple as a pill container marked with days of the week or as state-of-the-art as automated pill dispenser which opens with a sound of a beep to remind caregivers and dementia patients to take their medicines on time.
Also, there are some medication reminders available in the market that are as simple as a vibrating alarm on a watch. This technology is best for busy caregivers as it allows them to trust the device for a medication reminder.
GPS location and tracking devices
People with dementia or other memory loss disease often wander aimlessly. Location tracking devices serve the purpose as they track the exact location of the patient in case they get lost. Tracking devices are easy to handle. They can be worn or attached to the person in some way and many have alert systems through which a caregiver can know the location of the patient.
Picture phone technology is specifically designed for people who have a short memory syndrome. People with memory loss disease often face difficulties in remembering important phone numbers especially when they need them the most.
These picture phones have large number display and come with clear and visible buttons with ample space for photos so that the person can just push the button linked with the photos to quickly make a call to their loved ones.
Technology for patients’ safety
Technology for safety is designed to protect dementia patients from harm or injury. It not just provides constant surveillance, but it also prevents injuries and unintended exits from the home. There are numerous types of safety devices available in the market which include medication organizers, bed occupancy sensors, wearable ID program devices, location technology, door security bars, touchpad key locks, and window sensors.
Electrical use technology
This innovative technology is specifically designed for caregivers who do not live with their loved ones. This technology monitors patients’ use of electrical appliances by plugging into a wall outlet or power strip. This way it becomes easy for caregivers to find out if the appliances have been turned on or off.
Technology is proving to be helpful in every possible way. These wonderful tools are good for both patients and their caregivers. Although technologies do not make dementia diagnosis easy, they still significantly help with caring and monitoring the patient. With new and improved technologies being introduced, dementia is more manageable than ever before.