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Assistive Care Technology

placeposition

Registered User
Nov 1, 2015
4
Are there any phone apps or services which help with the care process? Reminders, schedules, collaboration with others in the support network? Anything for that might help the sufferer themselves?
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,218
Acceptance

Remember all these gadgets etc. are only as good as the person using them.
If your sufferer cannot understand, and remember what they are for, then its not going to work.
Having a reminder to take medication on an iphone is all very well, until that item is put away in a drawer, in the dining room. (for days on end)

Bod
 

placeposition

Registered User
Nov 1, 2015
4
sure

Remember all these gadgets etc. are only as good as the person using them.
If your sufferer cannot understand, and remember what they are for, then its not going to work.
Having a reminder to take medication on an iphone is all very well, until that item is put away in a drawer, in the dining room. (for days on end)

Bod
Yes, thats what I wanted to understand- i know the progression will be different in every case but there must be a period in the illness where technology can assist and keep them independent for longer? Give them some confidence?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,608
South coast
Yes, thats what I wanted to understand- i know the progression will be different in every case but there must be a period in the illness where technology can assist and keep them independent for longer? Give them some confidence?
In my experience, the understanding of what gadgets are for and how to use them are one of the first things to be lost as they are modern devices and as the memory goes further and further back the memory of them disappears. I remember the time when mum forgot about the TV remote and couldnt understand why there were no buttons in the front of her TV to change the channel - her memory had gone back to the time when TV remotes did not exist. She had a life-line button to go round her neck, but kept taking it off as she couldnt remember what it was for.

I think probably the best technology works to alert the carer about problems - trackers to show where they are and crash alarms if they fall, but I have no personal experience of these.

I think the problem is that we are so used to technology solving all our problems in our society that we feel that it will solve the problems for people with dementia. Unfortunately the dementia means that they very quickly cant use it and once they get to the stage of losing confidence no amount of technology will relieve their anxiety - what they need is someone around to reassure them.
 

placeposition

Registered User
Nov 1, 2015
4
Thanks

In my experience, the understanding of what gadgets are for and how to use them are one of the first things to be lost as they are modern devices and as the memory goes further and further back the memory of them disappears. I remember the time when mum forgot about the TV remote and couldnt understand why there were no buttons in the front of her TV to change the channel - her memory had gone back to the time when TV remotes did not exist. She had a life-line button to go round her neck, but kept taking it off as she couldnt remember what it was for.

I think probably the best technology works to alert the carer about problems - trackers to show where they are and crash alarms if they fall, but I have no personal experience of these.

I think the problem is that we are so used to technology solving all our problems in our society that we feel that it will solve the problems for people with dementia. Unfortunately the dementia means that they very quickly cant use it and once they get to the stage of losing confidence no amount of technology will relieve their anxiety - what they need is someone around to reassure them.

Those are great observations - thanks very much.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,218
Yes, thats what I wanted to understand- i know the progression will be different in every case but there must be a period in the illness where technology can assist and keep them independent for longer? Give them some confidence?
I fear that by the time problems are noticed, then it is already too late.
As others say, only safety alerts to a carer may be of use, door alerts, if the person wanders at all hours, you cannot guarentee the person will pick up a tracker/phone. At least you will know when they left the house. Again fall buttons, only any use if the person wears and can press the button.

The person will always say "I'm fine, can manage" the truth is often different.

Bod
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,062
Suffolk
No, I don't there is technology to assist every sufferer. It might help the carer, though. My OH, practically on diagnosis, lost the ability to use anything electronic. Radios, tv, phones, computer - and this was a man who used to write computer programmes!
Even labelling the radio on/ off switch didn't help.
 

Dearie Me

Registered User
Feb 2, 2012
41
Scotland
More positive view

I'm not sure exactly what you may be thinking about, but two pieces of technology that we found useful were the pivotell medication dispenser, which probably allowed mum to stay at home for a year longer relatively independently. The other thing we used was a digital photo frame. We used it almost like a white board to remind mum daily of what was happening. I set a reminder on my phone each evening to remind me to change the photo (I knew mum would be in bed by 10pm). Even when mum found it hard to follow, the warden at her sheltered housing complex, or her carers, knew what should be happening. However, mum didn't have to "use" the technology, we simply used it to help when we were at a distance.
 

nmintueo

Registered User
Jun 28, 2011
847
UK
Anything for that might help the sufferer themselves?
There are apps which do things like automatically answer incoming calls from known contacts (so the person receiving the call can just talk to you and doesn't have to touch the phone at all); block calls from other numbers; and, for someone who still makes calls, offer a simplified just-touch-the-picture-to-call interface.

e.g. previous:

My OH only wants to be able to make calls to 6 family members so my son and I spent the day setting up this all singing and dancing phone to disable all Apps, email, SMS, settings etc. to turn it into a phone that only makes calls, does nothing else but makes calls

I found an app that has 6 big buttons (on the start up screen) that you can put a picture of the person she wants to call so all she has to do now is to push the side button to turn it on, then tap a face to call, that's it, this is all that this phone will do, it will only call and receive calls to and from the 6 people that is on the phone now

It will not take calls from any other number that is not in her contact information, it will not accept e-mail or SMS messages and she can not change or add anything extra as the settings / options is protected by a password known only to myself and my son.

Well, after turning everything off my son and I looked at each other and said "Really" but when we gave it to my wife she was so impressed she cried

Basically she has a phone that has 6 pictures and when she taps a picture it immediately calls the person she wants to talk to
Mobile phone dilemma
http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?71485