Innovations In Dementia Care
For both those living with the dementia and their caregivers, technology is constantly advancing to help improve quality of life and make it easier to provide the necessary care. The ability to establish routine, undertake activities that were previously impossible or extremely difficult to do, and even the ability to ease the anxiety experienced by both dementia sufferers
and their families are improved through technological innovations which are designed to enhance the lives of people with dementia.
As skilled practitioners in the field of dementia care, HomeCare Australia keeps abreast of new developments that can make life easier for our clients and their loved ones. Among the many innovations out there, there are some in particular that offer a high degree of success in addressing challenges.
For instance, memory aids such as Reminder Rosie give caregivers the ability to record voice messages that can be played back as and when needed. The messages can be recorded in the caregiver’s voice and in any language, which helps to maintain that element of familiarity. Such reminders are pre-set to turn on at specified times and the messages can range from medication reminders to reminders to lock doors when leaving home, housekeeping, shopping or reminders about upcoming appointments. This is a great piece of technology, but there are many others that do different things, such as:
Medication Management Medication compliance in particular can be a real challenge when there is no one about. An automated pill dispenser is one technology that helps with medication management. They help both the dementia patient and their caregivers stick to the recommended times for taking any drug. All that’s required is for the
caregiver (or patient, if they are able) to program the times, fill the pill compartments and set the alarm. At the prescribed time, the dispenser beeps as a reminder. Most dispensers are lockable, eliminating the chance of mistake or double-dosing.
Distinguishing time Telling the difference between night and day can be a challenge for patients with dementia. There are clocks specifically made to help them distinguish the time. They display the date, the time and the day of the week and some even have the time –Morning, Afternoon or Night – written out in easy to read letters. They can also adjust brightness based on the time of day. All these features help ease anxiety and confusion about time. Keeping track Getting lost is a very real possibility for those with dementia and it is a constant fear for family members and source of anxiety for the person suffering from anxiety. There are location tracing or tracking devices which can be worn by the patient or attached to an item of clothing or even shoes. Most come with alerts that notify caregivers of the location of the dementia patient, especially if they wander outside of a pre-set zone. These devices can also notify caregivers of any emergency.
Appliance monitoring. For dementia patients who live alone, Electrical Usage Monitoring devices are new and convenient pieces of technology. This device monitors the usage of electrical appliances in and around the home by dementia patients. It works by plugging into a wall outlet or power strip and alerts caregivers if their appliances like curling irons, microwaves, garage doors, lamps, etc. have not been turned on or off. Caregivers receive text messages or email notifications when an appliance is used or not used within a specific time period, as such deviation from routine could be an indication of a problem. While none of these items are solutions to dementia, they do make life easier for people with dementia and their loved ones. Homecare Australia is passionate about making life as easy as possible for our clients and keeping abreast of technological advances to assist clients living with dementia and their loved ones.