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Technology to help care for individuals with dementia

The Early Stage Of Dementia. In the early stages, families will worry. A family member may say or forget things that make them wonder if it’s dementia or just a normal part of aging. They should consider persuading their loved one to get an evaluation from a professional. If their loved one is hesitant, a self-assessment could be used to encourage a visit to a professional. A doctor can help determine the type and stage of dementia and whether it is likely to be Alzheimer’s disease or some other type. If it is Alzheimer’s disease (60-80% of those with dementia), there is typically a slow progression over time. The chances are good that their family member can remain at home through early stages, even continuing to live alone. Even after a diagnosis, they'll continue to wonder whether it really is dementia and look for another test they can do at home. But maybe they'll also be concerned with the day-to-day activities of daily living (ADLs), especially if their loved one is living alone. Perhaps there is an unrelated health issue, and they're concerned about whether he/she is taking medications correctly or making it to medical appointments. Issues such as these can be addressed with calendar or reminder technologies.

Tech for the early stage. If their loved one lives with them, they may want to acquire motion sensors or a smart doorbell to know when their loved one is out of bed or near the door. If their family member is still driving, a smart phone app for turn-by-turn directions as well as a “wearable” to help their loved one find his/her way. Finally, families may want to focus on maintaining their loved one's quality of life at home, introducing smart speakers to play music at scheduled times, or even storytelling technology to help their loved one talk about themselves and their lives, which can be a comfort.

Needs of the Early stage

Tech Categories

Examples

Activities of daily living

Motion sensors
Medication reminders
Smart doorbells
Smart thermostats

GreatCall Lively Home
MedMinderPillPack
Ring
Nest

At home

Smart Speakers
Smartphone assistants
Memory/Stories
Caregiving and Family Support

Amazon Echo, Dot
Google AssistantSiriAlexa
MemoryWell
LifePodSharetheCareLotsaHelpingHands

Wandering/driving

GPS Tracking
Fall detection
Driving

Philips GoSafeMobileHelp
Philips Auto AlertFallCall (Apple Watch)
Android AutoApple CarPlay

 

The Middle Stage Of Dementia (All Above Plus The Following): 

When dementia progresses to the point where a family member is concerned about their loved one getting lost, it may be time for them to discuss whether or not their loved one should be driving and encourage walking, if it’s an option. Their loved one’s loss of independence is difficult to confront, but for safety, it's critical.At that point, a wearable with location tracking may help keep their loved one safe and reduce worry about getting lost near their home. Home safety needs to be addressed as well. Tools such as an automatic stove shutoff and a home alarm system with water detection for faucets that may be left running can help reduce risks. From a health standpoint, it may make sense to have a medication reminder/dispensing system that both alerts about a dosage and only alerts/releases the appropriate medication at the right time.

 

Needs of the Middle stage

Tech Categories

Examples

Care coordination

Private health websites, managing medications

CaringBridge, CareZone

Wander management

Location tracking tools

iTraqGPS Smart Sole

Mental stimulation

Music Therapy, Personalized content for Dementia

SingFitiN2L Focus Tablet

Medication management

Pre-loaded dosages released at specific times

Philips Medication DispensingMedMinder Jon

Home safety

When loved one is alone in their home

ADT Water Alarm, Cookstop

 

The Advanced Stage Of Dementia:

In the more advanced stages of dementia, a loved one might need an in-home care worker while you are out or at work. Or a family member may need to hire a round-the-clock caregiver to help their loved one with meals, showers, dressing and other routines. Installing a remote camera may help provide peace of mind. Families can also consider other tools that help comfort and relax their loved one. An adult day center that can provide a full day of activities and interactions for those with dementia is also a resource.

 

Needs of the Advanced stage

Tech Categories

Examples

In-home care services

Home care workers for partial day or full day

Home InsteadRightAtHomeComfortKeepers

Remote monitoring

Cameras, sensors

Best home security seniors

Engaging seniors

Robotic cats, dogs

Ageless Innovations

Bed/chair exit tools

Alerts when a person gets up

Safe Wandering

Adult day centers

Centers trained in dementia care

About Adult Day Centers

Memory care

Specialized units for those with dementia

About Memory Care

Comments

EnvoyatHome is expanding homecare agencies' capacity to care for older adults in aging in place, especially those with dementia.

 

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