Dementia is a condition where a person’s cognition deteriorates, causing changes in thinking, memory, orientation, comprehension and other cognitive areas. These changes affect an individual’s daily functions.
As portrayed in the movie, Still Alice – Alice, the main character diagnosed with dementia, fights against the effects of this condition by keeping lists on her handphone to recap important questions at the start of her day to fight against her declining cognition.
Alice also eventually forgets where the bathroom is at home, and ends up wetting herself. As dementia progresses, adaptations may be required to be implemented in the home environment to help someone with dementia cope with the gradual cognitive decline and increased level of assistance.
With technological advancements, there are many useful inventions which can help in the care of our loved ones with dementia.
What is assistive technology and how can it help?
Assistive technology refers to devices or systems that help to maintain or improve a person’s ability to do things in everyday life.
They can help with improving safety and monitoring health vitals as well. This can range from items like electronic pill boxes to ‘smart home’ systems.
An example of assistive technology would be on your smartphone or tablet, where apps have been developed for people with dementia.
Existing apps can even be used in creative manners for helping individuals with dementia, such as modifying task reminders or notes applications in a smartphone.
A hallmark of dementia is memory problems, which can gradually worsen as the condition progresses.
Other symptoms which come on as an effect of dementia include problems with planning and sequencing activities (e.g. wearing shoes), communicating with others, getting around physically, and being aware of keeping safe inside and outside the home.
Forgetfulness will affect someone’s daily living and safety, in instances such as forgetting to turn off the fire while cooking, or not remembering where the light switch is to turn on the lights in a dark room.
Moreover, this decreases the person’s independence and confidence in daily living tasks, which can affect self-esteem and wellbeing.
Assistive technology can help in enabling automation around the home, so the person with dementia can get around safely, and give their caregivers or loved ones some relief.
This also helps to give a sense of independence to the person with dementia as they can get around by themselves. Some things assistive technology can do are:
- Send notifications to a caregiver if their loved one has wandered outside during a specific time of the day, or if they have fallen
- Provide security surveillance by checking on them through cameras placed around the house
- Provide reminders about important events like medical appointments
Different forms of assistive technology
There are different types of assistive technology available to help with dementia care.
Do remember to factor in these costs in your budget to provide for your loved one, as costs can add up in providing care for someone with dementia as the condition progresses.</…….