Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Dementia is a general label that includes a variety of signs and symptoms that impair mental ability in the aged. It may cause problems with memory, communication lapses, difficulties with concentration and poor reasoning ability. Fortunately, the availability of assistive technology and a variety of gadgets can help to make everyday tasks easier for elderly people with dementia.
Caregivers find that one of the most important tasks of caring for someone with dementia is keeping them from wandering. Technology offers a solution in the form of tracking devices. These devices generally loaded onto a cellphone that can be tucked into a pocket or purse. They then relay the position of the person so that they can be located if lost or unable to find their way home. Some of these devices have a panic button the person can push if they suddenly become disoriented.
Door alarms can help to alert the caregiver when the person with dementia attempts to leave the home. These devices are easily installed and can help to prevent the wandering that is common with dementia patients. They can also be affixed to windows, glass patio doors and other points of egress. Alarms can be especially helpful during the night hours when caregivers may be asleep and unaware that the person is attempting to leave.
Alarms that are affixed to chairs can alert caregivers to the movements of the person with dementia when they are busy in another room. These devices are sensitive to changes in the pressure and produce a warning sound or message when the elderly person gets up from the chair. Similar devices are used to sound an alarm when the person gets out of bed.
Baby monitors are not just for listening in on babies. Caregivers can use these handy gadgets to keep an ear on elderly persons with dementia while they attend to tasks in other rooms. They are generally inexpensive devices. Some can monitor distances as far as 2,000 feet away.
The webcam is an invention that allows caregivers to monitor an elderly person’s movements and behavior from a distance. The video is sent over the Internet to a computer or smartphone device that allows an image of the room where the camera is place. Webcams can be helpful in keeping an eye on those with dementia in large houses or other areas where they may not be directly in the line of sight at all times.
Message devices that work on a timer can help the person with dementia to take medications on time, eat at specific time, get ready for doctor’s appointments and other daily tasks. They can also be used to remind the elderly person to lock the door, bring their keys when they leave and other difficulties that are common with dementia.
Special Clocks and Calendars
People with dementia may have difficulty remembering what day it is or what time of day it is. Special clocks that automatically change from day to day can help them keep track of visits, appointments, favorite TV shows and other activities. Clocks that indicate daytime and nighttime easily can help those with dementia from becoming confused during times of the year when light changes earlier or later than usual.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and affect 62% of those diagnosed. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and difficulties in speech and understanding. There are many resources available to find out about dementia, like http://www.alzheimers.org.uk, http://www.mhaauchlochan.org.uk/ and many others online.