What is Dementia?
Dementia is a degenerative syndrome that causes brain function to decline over time. Dementia can be confused with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, while dementia is the term used to categories a group of symptoms. The symptoms include problems with:
- Memory loss
- Thinking speed
- Mental sharpness and quickness
- Carrying out daily activities
People who suffer from dementia are often confused or cannot remember and retain certain information. As a result, this can sometimes come across to others as avoiding issues or not telling the truth. This often leads to a family or friend needing to become the decision-maker. This is because the sufferer will eventually not be able to process information correctly and make decisions in their own best interest.
There is no cure at the moment for dementia, however, it can be slowed down. This can give families precious time with loved ones which is why it is so important that it is caught early. If you know someone who is experiencing symptoms, encourage them to go to the doctors as a diagnosis can be vital.
As strides are made in the technological world, many innovative products are being designed for those who suffer from dementia to make their lives a little easier. Today we will be looking at these products and considering how they can help someone living with dementia.
GPS Location and Door Sensors:
Some people with dementia may have a tendency to leave the house without telling anyone where they have gone. This is particularly dangerous at night time or in winter months because the cold can be present a very serious risk to an elderly person. This, of course, gives great concern to loved ones and so there are a couple of things that can be useful to help prevent such instances from occurring.
First is a GPS tracking device. Much like the ones in smartphones or Fitbits, patients can wear a GPS tracker and their location can be seen by a carer or family member at any time. This is particularly useful if a patient is likely to get lost.
Next are door sensors. These are to be placed on doors within the home and come with a timer so their Careline alarm system can be alerted when a door has been opened past a certain time. The Care Team would then alert family members so they can attend the home to ensure the user is okay.
Picture phones are simplistic in nature but are extremely useful for those suffering from memory loss. A picture phone has extra large buttons for photographs of family, friends, and carers. Each picture button can be easily programmed to dial the number of the person whose photo appears on it. This means that the dementia sufferer can call for help with one touch, without having to look up a number.
This is another ingenious tool because it helps to address the biggest symptom associated with the syndrome – memory loss. Those with dementia often have trouble remembering key events that are taking place or to take their medicine. Many devices now enable carers to set a reminder for a user that will go off long after they leave. This is significant because it reduces the need for constant supervision if the alarm user follows the reminder’s instructions.
A medicine dispenser is a really useful tool to help dementia sufferers remember to take medication. A common problem is ensuring that those who have memory loss are taking the necessary medication regularly, as well as feeding and hydrating themselves enough. Many electronic dispensers allow the medication to be released once a day and can also be linked to a Careline. Most models also offer a combination of visual and audio alerts to remind users who may have impaired vision or hearing to take their medication.
Careline and Living with Dementia:
Careline offers reassurance to families of dementia sufferers. We use the latest in Tunstall technology paired with the best quality of service. A Careline system allows users to remain independent and dignified in old age. Should they feel unwell or have a fall they would simply need to press their button and someone from the Care Team would answer almost immediately and help. If you are concerned that your loved ones may not remember to push the button there are also Fall Detectors available. These come with built-in sensors that will detect a drop in altitude followed by a period of stillness and activate the alarm. If the alarm user is unable to stand up again within 20 seconds of the fall being detected, then the Care Team will be contacted straight away.