Technology has been playing a very important part in caring for dementia patients and their quality of life. Among its many benefits, technology has provided an array of opportunities to improve safety and enable those diagnosed to live a normal everyday life.
Why Is Technology For Dementia Patients Needed?
From simple devices like digital clocks and communication aids, to more complex smart gadgets, technology has opened the gateway to a less stressful caregiving experience and a more comfortable life for people with dementia.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, in Britain there are approximately 850,000 people living with the disease, and the number is predicted to double within the next 20 years. With no known medical solution to cure the illness, technology research investments have also increased.
We have created a useful list of the top technological innovations for those dealing with dementia, to help them with get on with their everyday routine.
1. Tracking Devices
Tracking devices for dementia patients are specifically designed to help them back to safety in the case of an emergency, enabling the relevant authorities or the caregiver to pin-point their exact location.
Apart from saving lives, the benefits of this technology rely on providing greater independence and boosting confidence levels during daily activities. The trackers are user friendly, featuring a large emergency button and are easily stored by attaching them to keyrings or placing them in a pocket. There's also a wide variety of brands and designs to choose from.
2. Medication Reminders & Pill Dispensers
As one of dementia's main symptoms is memory loss, remembering to take the correct medication on time can be a challenge for those affected. As a result, assistive technology to help with medication management has been in continuous development.
For people dealing with the early stages of dementia, smartphone apps, alarms and dosette boxes are usually sufficient to manage medication. These tools ensure the patients keep to their routine effortlessly, whilst preventing their treatment from being interrupted.
The main devices used to help patients going through the middle stages of the disease are automatic pill dispensers with prompts which provide a visual or audio reminder along with the correct dose of medication, while telecare pill dispensers are a more advanced solution. These will send a notification to a monitoring centre or even friends or family if medication has not been taken
3. Motion Sensors
Motion sensors are great anti-wandering devices and can be set up anywhere. Their main purpose is to keep track of any movement in order to ensure continuous safety. With a variety of designs on the market, caregivers can now know when someone has left their chair or bed and even when a door or window has been opened.
Most of these tools rely on some form of talking mats, designed to play a recorded message as soon as they're triggered. Others use passive infrared technology to monitor movement in larger spaces, making them ideal for those who want to eliminate sensor mats.
4. Robotic Devices
Although they could never replace human touch, robots like PARO and the SARA Home System have been developed to revolutionise the caregiving process and help ease anxiety in people with dementia.
Japanese PARO comes in the form of a fluffy dog and has been used as a successful therapeutic intervention tool for dementia patients. Although it's still being trialed in Finland and the Netherlands, SARA could relieve the burden of caregiving through patient interaction and cognitive exercising.
If you think one of your friends or family members has dementia, contact Sova Healthcare for a comprehensive health assessment. Alternatively, if you already live with someone affected by dementia, get in touch and our experts will recommend the best home care service to suit yours and your loved ones needs.