Dementia Products commonly used

Discussion in 'Equipment and technology' started by Jade1, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Jade1

    Jade1 New member

    Oct 14, 2019
    1
    #1 Jade1, Oct 19, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    Hi everyone,

    A family member was recently diagnosed with dementia and is particularly struggling with remembering to take medication, eat and dress. I am just wondering what products or assistive technology have people used to help those with dementia.

    What products have you or the person with dementia used which have helped them in everyday life and why have they been useful?


    Have there been any products that you have used that proved to be less helpful than you had expected and why?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    653
    Female
    cornwall
    My dad has a red cup with a white cone inside.Easy to see and pick up as it is plastic.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    OH has an Aegean tray which you can hold with one hand whilst using a stick with the other. Even if it swings the food and drink stays in place. Its amazing

    [​IMG]
     
  4. silver'lantern

    silver'lantern Registered User

    Apr 23, 2019
    119
    Female
    Medication he has made up at the chemist in a tray. each day is popped out as needed.He has a clock that tells day and time, and he uses this to check the day before he takes his meds. Keeping as much independence as we can. ( I can then check discreetly that he has taken them). We use a whiteboard with a weekly diary so he doesn't have to keep asking over again what are we doing today. This has worked well for maybe 2 years. But he is getting now he forgets to look (or more likely a processing issue)
    As he also has a tremor and he found it hard to lift a kettle (danger risk of scalding) so we have a 0ne Cup water heater so his cup goes under and he presses a button. It spits out one cup of hot water so he can still make himself a cup of tea. The progression on carrying his cup has been..cup, then cup on a saucer/bigger saucer/small tray and now, new this week, has a SpillNot cup holder. But also as he likes to carry his meal through to the table, on a tray. I have kept the tray small so it doesnt get heavy/overloaded.
    He lost the ability to use a mobile phone (touch screen) so now has a Doro phone this works well as it gives him a little independence to wander about occasionally on his own while we are out. The Doro has an alarm button that can be set to call a number just from the press of a button. I am not sure he would actually know/remember to use now it if he was in a panic or upset, but having it gives him some confidence and again a little independence.
    He has a information card in his wallet that states he has memory issues and my phone number. (I also have a card that says I am a carer.)
    He is fighting to keep his independence and I support that any way I can, finding a solution if possible.
    There are probably other things in place I can't think of right now. Gadgets and aids all work well if they are aimed at the need/solution. As another issue arises I research if there is something that can help extend independence a bit longer.
    But also what works in one household may not work in another. It depends on the stage and progression and individual needs. We are lucky the way his dementia is progressing after 6 years of me being his carer he is still able to do some things for himself. Although this week it is changing again.... ever changing.....
     
  5. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I found a set of Colourworks mugs that were useful. They had a wide rubber-type band round them them ( silicon I think ) but no handle.

    Mum found them much easier to use ( although she was partially sighted as well) as they had no handle to find.

    Much nicer than a plastic cup
     
  6. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    395
    Bedford
    @silver'lantern thank you I had not seen those Doro phones. I was just thinking it might be useful for Mum when she goes into a home with the large quick dials. Can they be used on any network?
     
  7. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    463
    I bought one of those porridge heating tupperware pots. It has turned out to be unexpectedly good for Mummy, though it isn't specifically for dementia. It is pink, so has a good colour contrast with food, is plastic, so bounces well when thrown (!) and has a large easily grasped handle on one side. There is a lid that clips securely with a vent for microwaving.
    I also like some plastic cups designed for children with spouts. Sad that they have to be child cups, but I try to choose though that are not too garish but are anti spill in plastic. Much cheaper than buying things made for PWD which aren't always suitable anyway.
     
  8. silver'lantern

    silver'lantern Registered User

    Apr 23, 2019
    119
    Female
    yes they are sim free. we have it on PAYG
     
  9. Weasell

    Weasell Registered User

    Oct 21, 2019
    11
     
  10. Weasell

    Weasell Registered User

    Oct 21, 2019
    11
    Hi Jade,

    To monitor a person with dementia it is essential to have a broadband package.

    The best gadget I have is a YI home camera. Buy on Amazon, change out of £30 pounds. I have it stood on the microwave aimed at the kettle. Every time someone breaks the beam it sends a message to my phone. You can also observe the scene ‘live’ if you want. This is a godsend if no one is answering the phone. The combination of no alerts and no phone answered can also quickly highlight a problem.

    I have a carelink subscription, with a neck pendent to be pressed by the person if in Trouble.

    I have recently sign up for free telephone call screening, where unknown callers have to record a short message. This then get played to the person and they have to press number one to accept. Much to my surprise this has been a huge success, don’t underestimate the danger of sales calls to people with dementia.

    I have a Memrabel 2. This is like a day clock showing the day, month etc in a display like an I pad. You can programme it with prompts to do things. I use it for medication prompts. One family with a mother how loved Sean Connery programmed it with his photo flashing up and someone did a voice impression telling her to take her medication, and it worked.

    I tried buying the plastic medication boxes that say am,pm,night. They didn’t work,they got meddled with! Dossette boxes from the pharmacy are delivered once a month now. The medication is kept in the kitchen with an additional day clock kept 6 inches away.

    I have a ring doorbell installed, this sends a photo of everyone who comes to the door, to my mobile.

    I have a guard cam, an outside light that takes photos of all callers.

    I have a sign that warns all callers that there is video surveillance inside and out.

    Just installed an Alexa show. It the new model with the video screen. This enables the family to ‘drop in’ and the callers and receiver can see each other as they talk.I don’t like Alexa alarms for dementia because you have to remember to say’ Alexa ‘to turn them off, but Alexa reminders are good. I have ours programmed to say ‘do you want to phone your sister’, every Sunday at 5. You can also use it to remind someone that a favourite tv programme is starting. You could also use it to set reminders about meal times.

    Communication is another issue. I realised that I was sounding like a disgruntled headmistress for most of the time and had to change it. I separate the persons behaviours into two categories unsafe, and costing money. You analyse each event as it occurs. Example chicken purchased yesterday now in the bin because out of date????? Then that comes into the ‘money wasted category’. Do not lecture,it doesn’t improve anything.If it helps, remembering they were in a care home it would cost £12,000 a month. That means the cost of the wasted chicken isn’t to dramatic.

    There is a saying people don’t remember what you did or what you said but how you made them feel.

    I work really hard to achieve this. Last week it was ‘ my rings have gone missing’ I said ‘ not again’ which was the wrong answer! The correct answer was, don’t worry we will go and look for them. It is a matter of changing ‘reflex answers’, I will keep practicing until I get it right.

    Don’t forget can you claim attendance allowance, or a reduction of the community charge? That money alone would pay for all of the above.

    This is my first post so apologies if it is a bit Random.
     
  11. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,772
    Female
    Are you sure you want her to be able to call you any time of the day or night? It may means she continues to be dependent on you rather than turning to the carers. The care home should let her make calls if she needs to, my mother's CH has a "residents' mobile" so family and friends can speak direct to their PWD.
     
  12. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    395
    Bedford
    I suppose I was just thinking about how she would keep in touch with my brother and her sister- I know we are on borrowed time as to how long she has that capacity. You are totally right that I would not want her calling me day and night
     
  13. Weasell

    Weasell Registered User

    Oct 21, 2019
    11
    Sorry about all the typos Jade, the 12,000 a month is a howler! I just had so little time but wanted to reply!
     
  14. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    395
    Bedford
    Unfortunately it is heading that way so maybe not such a howler
     
  15. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,772
    Female
    When the CH has a room available, you could ask how they facilitate phone contact.
    If someone calls to speak to my mother, the staff give the caller the mobile number and take the phone to her. My mother could equally use that phone to call someone, but the concept of making a phone call departed long ago.
     
  16. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    395
    Bedford
  17. Gin O’Clock

    Gin O’Clock New member

    Nov 7, 2019
    1
    Mum has just been diagnosed this week and we want to keep her at home in a routine for as long as we can, safely. I am having broadband installed ASAP and I am looking for any advice people have used for monitors. I am thinking about the ring.com as I have them at home myself but I don’t need to know every time she moves. We want to be able to keep a visual contact with her daily when we can’t be there for reassurance, so I have also looked at the Echo Show. Any gadgets that you have used that you find helpful, I would love to hear about. Thanks.
     
  18. Weasell

    Weasell Registered User

    Oct 21, 2019
    11
     
  19. Weasell

    Weasell Registered User

    Oct 21, 2019
    11
    Hi,
    I love my YI camera which I wrote about further up this thread.
    Ring doorbell is ok I suppose but consider buying extra chimes, as it can sometimes be ignored.
    The echo show can be programmed to work so the Alexa says ‘please answer your doorbell’ this only works with ring doorbell though.
    Talk talk do a call screening service where the person calling has to record who they are and it is played back to the householder and they have to press 1 to accept the call. This sounds horribly complicated but isn’t. It is also free. It weeds out so many sales call and anyone with dementia is vulnerable. The sooner you try it the more chance of success.
     
  20. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    209
    Male
    South Northwest
    I shall add my regular reminder that if you have a spare old laptop (preferably quiet!) Skype can be set up to receive incoming calls automatically. It's a bit of a faff making sure the laptop doesn't go to sleep and refuse to wake up on an incoming Skype call, and having it on all the time can be a bit wasteful of electricity, but I was so glad to have another 'way into' the house when Mum started to struggle with the phone (often leaving if off the hook) electricity use was the least of my problems.

    You can just use Skype to observe, like a security camera. You just have to remember to turn the video and microphone off your end first.

    I think the Amazon Alexa type thing with a screen might be a more effortless way of doing that these days, but I have no experience of that; not sure if auto connection is possible. I stopped using our audio only Alexa/Echo because it kept making random comments that annoyed me. Mum didn't care less. :)

    Facebook have been advertising a similar video thing for the TV, but I'm allergic to Facegrab, so have no experience of that either.

    Now I'm here 24/7 I still have Skype set up to a tiny, low power laptop (a 'netbook' type with rubbish capabilities but no fan noise), plugged in to a decent sized TV. If I nip out with the dog or to get essential supplies and leave Mum alone I make sure that's on in case the other cameras show me Mum's in distress. I can then talk to her quickly on Skype, with my face pretty much as big as in real life. She used to struggle to identify where the noise was coming from with a smaller laptop screen.

    Makes me sound a bit like Big Brother, but 'Big Son' involves a bit less thought crime and a lot more doublethink.
     

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