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Hoping to create something which will help people with dementia

Gergana Draganova

New member
Oct 1, 2020
4
Hello, I am a UK student who is hoping to create a game or app which will help people with dementia with their everyday life and tasks. My grandma has dementia, seeing her struggle with simple tasks inspired me to try and create something useful for people with similar condition.
I was hoping to get more information about the everyday challenges that someone with dementia is facing, as well as any ideas which you may have and would love to be implemented into the final product! 😄
 

Buckles

Registered User
Oct 4, 2020
13
Something to control the TV remotely from another location (even across hundreds of miles)!

:)
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
421
Something to control the TV remotely from another location (even across hundreds of miles)!

:)
I agree a remote TV remote control would be good, something that doesn't require expertise in port forwarding and other technical issues.

However the trouble seems to be that people with dementia struggle with controls, buttons, instructions etc. You would be challenged to design something that didn't need those abilities.

An area to think about might be how voice-command devices like Alexa might be better used. I don't know of an app that lets you choose a TV channel by telling that lady something like "Alexa play BBC2" but it sounds achievable, maybe already exists. That would be helpful to some people with dementia who still have a clear voice.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,511
Suffolk
My late husband showed an inability to even switch radio on or off, a simple push button. This before most people even realised something was wrong.
To be honest I defy anyone to overcome that one!
Alexa wasn’t around then, but I still don’t think he would have coped.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,010
High Peak
And don't forget cost. Many people on these boards have bought 'dementia friendly' tech appliances and gadgets that have worked initially but then become redundant.

Dementia behaviour changes so what works now may be completely useless in a couple of weeks. This will make people reluctant to splash out...

Unfortunately technology provides few answers for those with dementia.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,527
And don't forget cost. Many people on these boards have bought 'dementia friendly' tech appliances and gadgets that have worked initially but then become redundant.

Dementia behaviour changes so what works now may be completely useless in a couple of weeks. This will make people reluctant to splash out...

Unfortunately technology provides few answers for those with dementia.
I so agree. in the home where I volunteer the battery powered pusscats go down well, but they are not about day to day living skills! Also I have seen an app that can be used on tablets that has say a beach scene and residents run their fingers over the screen and it moves the sand about and water comes up on the beach ... things like that ...
But helping with living skills, not really.
Warmest Kindred
 

chloehvy

Registered User
May 4, 2018
22
One thing I feel would help with my mum is a simplified version of her phone - perhaps an app of sorts that can do this?

it’s hard to describe what I mean, but using an iPhone - there are so many buttons to press before you can even call a loved one.

An app with a simple interface where you can add a couple of main contacts so each person is a click away, the main apps that the patient uses (my mum loves scrolling through Facebook), and maybe an area to set reminders from someone else’s phone? Possibly a family member or carer (I.e. take tablets or birthday tomorrow etc)
 

chloehvy

Registered User
May 4, 2018
22
Have you come across the Doro phone @chloehvy ?
Yes I’ve seen things like this I wish mum would be more interested! Unfortunately she is really anti dementia-tech or anything that reminds her of her diagnosis, she won’t carry her electric buddy so we have to hide it on her. I think something more subtle would help with those sufferers who have tied dementia with feelings of shame (which is such a heartbreaking problem in itself)
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,946
South coast
Is it possible, @chloehvy , that your mum is no longer able to retain how to use new things? People with dementia will often say that they dont want something, in order to cover up the fact that do not understand. One of mums earliet signs was that she was no longer able to use any sort of technology that was new to her - despite being a lifelong "gadget" lover. My OH is still able to scroll through social media and other sites on his tablet, but hasnt been able to use his mobile for a long time and cannot use any sort of phone now.
 

Jacques

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
17
Hello, I am a UK student who is hoping to create a game or app which will help people with dementia with their everyday life and tasks. My grandma has dementia, seeing her struggle with simple tasks inspired me to try and create something useful for people with similar condition.
I was hoping to get more information about the everyday challenges that someone with dementia is facing, as well as any ideas which you may have and would love to be implemented into the final product! 😄
My husband constantly forgets where he puts his sticks, keys, gloves etc as he has a habit of changing their resting place regularly. Something that could be attached to multiple items with one control which when pressed would emit a sound from the items would be brilliant.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,601
Thanks I'll certainly look at them
It will depend on your husband's level of dementia as to whether he will be able to push the button and locate the 'missing' items himself. Mum had one of these and it was really useful for me, and I found it quite good fun to push the button on the control set and then follow where the noise from the item was coming from. It was like a techy version of 'hide & seek' and it could find items in some bizarre places where you'd never normally think to look :)
 

chloehvy

Registered User
May 4, 2018
22
Is it possible, @chloehvy , that your mum is no longer able to retain how to use new things? People with dementia will often say that they dont want something, in order to cover up the fact that do not understand. One of mums earliet signs was that she was no longer able to use any sort of technology that was new to her - despite being a lifelong "gadget" lover. My OH is still able to scroll through social media and other sites on his tablet, but hasnt been able to use his mobile for a long time and cannot use any sort of phone now.
Yeah, that could be it.