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  1. #1

    Alarm clock for dementia patients

    Hi, my name is Erin Giles and I am a student studying at the University of Loughborough. I have been set a task which involves re-designing an everyday object in order to aide dementia patients/carers.

    I decided on an alarm clock as I think this is a neccessary product and it has much room for improvement. I also thought it could be doubled up as a memo system. At the moment, the clock has been split into a main wall clock which displays a 24-hour digital clock and space for memos which will flash up to remind the patient when to do neccessary tasks throughout the day. These would be uploaded by a carer through a computer. The second part of the clock is a smaller, portable version which can be placed anywhere around the house, this will also show reminders and the time.

    I would be incredibly grateful if anyone has any feedback on the prospective product - if I should add or change any components.

    Any feedback or ideas would be much help

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    It would be useful to have what day it is for mild to moderate dementia sufferers my husband asks dozens of times a day what day is it , I used to have 7 big cardboard signs with the days of the week on it and change it each day so he just had to look , that worked for a while,not now though , it seems to be a common thing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gil92 View Post
    Hi, my name is Erin Giles and I am a student studying at the University of Loughborough. I have been set a task which involves re-designing an everyday object in order to aide dementia patients/carers.

    I decided on an alarm clock as I think this is a neccessary product and it has much room for improvement. I also thought it could be doubled up as a memo system. At the moment, the clock has been split into a main wall clock which displays a 24-hour digital clock and space for memos which will flash up to remind the patient when to do neccessary tasks throughout the day. These would be uploaded by a carer through a computer. The second part of the clock is a smaller, portable version which can be placed anywhere around the house, this will also show reminders and the time.

    I would be incredibly grateful if anyone has any feedback on the prospective product - if I should add or change any components.

    Any feedback or ideas would be much help

    Thank you!
    Hi Erin
    An audio element would be useful. PCA sufferers have problems reading and can often read the mirror version of the real time e.g. 9 o'clock for 3 o'clock, so an audible time/message would be a great addition as an option.
    Good luck! Alison

  4. #4
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    24 hour clock
    not so good
    older gneration memory reverts to a clock with hands

  5. #5
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    12 hr Digital clock with a sign for AM (sunshine) PM (moon)
    Day and date including the year
    Cheap. - Unfortunately once the ability to read a "normal" clocks declines, it isn't long before understandimg any type of clock is difficult.
    Audio a good idea, but not sure if someone who can't read a clock would be able to press a button to get the audio version, and having the time spoken every 1/4 hour could be irritating like a chiming clock is for me
    Last edited by 2jays; 19-04-2012 at 05:49 AM.
    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone - Reba McEntire
    If only it was that easy - 2jays

  6. #6
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    Mum currently has two clocks on either side of her bed. One is digital and the other is a talking clock. However, she picks up the phone and dials 123 for the talking clock as she says the clocks don't work - they do! Her phone bills are usually over a 100 purely on 123 calls alone !!!!

    I would suggest a quiet clock with big black numbers on a white background that also glo in the dark.

    Good luck with your project

  7. #7
    Hello Erin, I too wish you luck with your project. Please bear in mind that there comes a time when reading the time becomes impossible and so audio, with a push button would be essential. There is a unit available from the RNIB that is a simple grey box with a large yellow push button that tells the time and has alarm functions. What it doesn't have is a follow up that says what the day will contain. So for example, if there is a dentist appointment in the afternoon, it would be good for the audio to state that up to the time when the appointment has been and gone.

    Good luck

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sad girl View Post
    Mum currently has two clocks on either side of her bed. One is digital and the other is a talking clock. However, she picks up the phone and dials 123 for the talking clock as she says the clocks don't work - they do! Her phone bills are usually over a 100 purely on 123 calls alone !!!!
    You might want to consider restricting the numbers she can call, and excluding that one. See 'Network Controlled Calling' service discussed on this thread:

    Nuisance Caller - my mum!
    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showt...-Caller-my-mum!

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    Red face Day date and time

    Hi Erin, my mum has major short term memeory problems and uses lots of strategies to keep track of the days..luckily she can still have the paper delivered which is a huge help...she uses the radio times... but the thing she referes to all the time is a wonderful clock (which is not digital..she has lots of radio controlled digital clocks but none of them are clear enough..) Her clock has a black background with white writing..it is battery driven it shows the month, the day in full, the date, at the top of the clock the year, and there is a normal clock face as well. It is her life-line and she rewfers to it all the time to remind herself what day it is. It is a `click` clock the months and days click over. It was expensive but it has been a god send!
    Very best of luck with your project!

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    Oh..and one more thing!

    I would love to see a really good clear watch with date and time on it for older people with poor vision, which could also double as a panic button...its a nightmare trying to get the elderly to wear a necklace panic button..but if it doubled as a really useful watch and had a red panic button on it..with maybe a tracking device for wanderers it would be fantastic!
    We challenged the police some years ago because Mum in law was a wanderer and we were terrified about loosing her forever..asked about a tracking device but they said it wasnt possible it would compromise her human rights....... my heart goes out to people who loose their wandering relatives.
    Whereas a wrist watch is often so much part of normal day to day living that as well as being useful it could be a life saver.

  11. #11
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    Erin, best of luck with your project. Your idea might help people with dementia in the early stages, but as the disease progresses, they lose the ability to understand the written or spoken words. Many often use the wrong words to describe everyday objects. However, I think your idea could be very useful for carers as well. The stress of looking after a relative , can often drive the carer to distraction, and appointments can be missed by the carer.
    BTW, I attended what was Loughborough College of Education in the 1970's and have fond memories of my time spent in the Creative Design and Technology building (and even fonder memories of the hours spent in the SU bar )

  12. #12

    Thumbs up

    I really like the idea of being able to upload reminders through a computer. In the earlier stage of the disease, my Mum relied heavily on what was written on her calendar but we all thought that it would have been really useful to have an audible reminder of what to do when each day - perhaps at the touch of a button (eg "its Friday morning and the time is 11o-clock. Today you are going to have a hair cut at 2o-clock and go and see the dentist at 4 o-clock. If you have any worries about this, please telephonel Jacky on 123456 " or some such thing??
    Everyone gets used to their own language/words so being able to record individual messages sounds good.
    As the disease progresses, an aubile reminder - at the touch of a button - for what time of day it is and (although i can't see how you'd achieve this!) an audible message on the lines of "it's 10 to 3 on Monday afternoon and you have 30 minutes before you need to leave the flat to meet Maureen" might have been useful? Ideally, all messages in a known voice, too?

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    I like the idea JackyS has suggested. I think it would/could be useful to have a large clock face in a plasticised flat cushion (if that makes sense) that you could place fixed to a door or a wall and on touching it it would tell you the time and day and possibly some of the things that Jacky has suggested.

    However, the functions to load the appropriate messages would need to be separate from the time functions so it could be used as just a date/time reminder and then the additional functions introduced as and when needed. If it's too complicated to set up it would be discarded very quickly by someone on their own.

 

 

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