As technology continues to advance, more people are now depending on gadgets for different purposes. Many use technology for entertainment, work or daily chores, however, one of the key aims of technology development is to benefit society and deliver a positive change to the way we live. This focus is particularly important for vulnerable people, especially those living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Among the many technological innovations that help people with dementia, assistive technology for Dementia has stood out as one of the best gadgets for patients in regards to improving their quality of life. The constant development of technology means new assistive devices are created often which can make the process of selecting the right device for you difficult. Today, we take a look at one of the most popular voice-activated devices: Google Home.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology (AT) consists of devices that have the ability to support people with disabilities or the elderly population in living their everyday lives. This can include communicating, remembering specific information, planning and maintaining overall independence.
Assistive technology and dementia
As the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s symptoms often prevent those affected from living a normal everyday life. Although many use assistive technology for multiple disabilities, those with cognitive diseases can really benefit from these gadgets.
Assistive technology for Dementia can support individuals in becoming more independent, remaining safe, and improve their involvement in daily activities. In fact, assistive technology devices are so beneficial in dementia care, that caregivers would use them regardless of having to fund the purchase of AT themselves (Sriram et al. 2020).
Although there is a wide range of assistive devices for different purposes, voice assistants for elderly people have become increasingly popular. Commonly known as one of the best voice assistants on the market, Google Home has become progressively prevalent with the older population, providing various benefits for its users.
How does Google Home work?
Google Home is a smart speaker which responds to voice commands through Google Assistant. You can ask it to play music, set an alarm, tell you the weather forecast and even read you the news. Unlike Amazon Echo, Google Home has access to a wider pool of information and enables more natural conversations through its distinctive language processing algorithm. This means that it will feel as though you’re interacting with an actual human.
When connected to compatible smart products such as light bulbs, thermostats and cameras, it can also perform more advanced tasks like turning the lights on and off, adjusting temperature and more. All you need to do is say “Hey Google” followed by a command, and it will automatically carry out a desired action.
How does Google Home support people with dementia and Alzheimer’s?
Assistive technology for Dementia and Alzheimer’s such as the Google Home, can provide a range of benefits to support individuals with Dementia along with their carers and family members.
Further independence for seniors
Google Home Hub can work for elderly people as an extension of their own abilities. Even those with mobility issues and reduced vision can draw great benefits from this little gadget. For example, if you have trouble moving around the house or can’t remember where the light switch is, you can ask your Google Home to adjust the lights for you.
The same goes for those who forget to take their medication. You or your loved ones can set reminders which go off when it’s time to take your treatment.
Improves communication with family and carers
Many of those suffering from Alzheimer’s can often feel alienated from their families. With Google Home, you can keep in touch with your loved ones at any time of day via voice or video calls. This can also be beneficial for social and senior care providers – you can reach out to your caregiver easily whenever you need something.
Helps to create a daily routine
Use Google Home to create pre-scheduled routines, so you don’t miss out on anything. Whether it’s someone’s birthday, the code to your front door or turning the TV on, the device can do this for you when set up in advance. The Google Home can provide you with reminders for anything you may require support with, which can also be arranged to the specific time of day you may need it.
A digital companion for those feeling lonely
Individuals who require specialist care services tend to struggle with companionship, mainly because their families and loved ones don’t always have the time to be around them. You can ask Google Home to play games, tell you a story or sing a song. Google Assistant always responds and communicates in a warm, friendly way and never gets frustrated. Additionally, the Google Home volume can be adjusted to suit individuals with impaired hearing.
Google Home speakers have a built-in Burglar Deterrent feature which is used to prevent any potential intruders from entering the home. The device will play loud sounds, alerting strangers that your home is not empty. Although the device can not contact emergency services, it has the ability to contact family members or caregivers as per your request if an incident has occurred.
Sova Healthcare is a leading provider of specialist home care services for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We are avid believers in the positive difference assistive technology makes in complex and social care, which is why offer a free Google Home device as part of our care plan package. Get in touch with our expert team today!