How technology can support somebody living with dementia  

Recent advancements have meant that even our elderly loved ones can benefit from the wonders of technology. Those with specialist needs, such as dementia, can get help from the countless resources available to them.

The Alzheimer’s Society claims that there are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. With that figure forecasted to increase to 1.6m by 2040, it’s crucial we look at how we can support people with the condition, and particularly keep them safe and well at home. 

Technology can play a huge part in protecting our elderly loved ones while they’re home alone. But not only that, it can help keep their brain occupied, stay in touch with loved ones, and revisit those memories that bring so much comfort.

What technology will help? 

Here are some examples of technology that will help give people living with dementia the life that they deserve:

  • Home monitoring sensors: You can install smart but subtle sensors around your loved one’s home, which track movement and monitor the use of appliances and electric devices. Forgetting to eat and drink is common for people living with dementia. Home monitoring sensors establish whether your loved one is staying hydrated and nourished; if the kettle isn’t being boiled and the fridge door stays closed then you know to address the issue. You can use that as a reason to increase the amount of times you visit, or arrange for more frequent care visits, to ensure that they are eating and drinking as much as they should. It gives much needed peace of mind.
  • Personal safety alarms: Often it’s not enough for somebody living with dementia to have loved ones and a care team on hand. An accident can happen at any time, whether that’s a fall or a household flood, and help is needed straight away. For people living with dementia, certain accidents could be more likely, and feelings of panic and confusion might mean not coping well in a crisis. Alarms fitted in the home of the individual can detect these problems and flag them to an emergency response team. There’s also the option of having an alarm on a pendant for the elderly person to press if a crisis occurs, which is linked to an emergency resolution team 24 hours a day.
  • Specialist tablets: People living with dementia should be given the chance to use tablets to keep in touch with loved ones and have fun online. There are devices aimed specifically at the elderly, which only feature the apps that the individual wants access to. It gives the user an easy piece of technology that they don’t need accounts or passwords for. Perhaps an old TV show evokes some positive memories? Maybe music from yesteryear brings back thoughts about sweeter times? You can make these memory triggers easy to access on the personalised device, which will bring so much comfort to somebody living with dementia.
  • Dementia-friendly apps: From brain-training, to cues that prompt you to eat, there are a range of apps that help somebody living with dementia stay safe and well. ORCHA (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications) offers a library of apps suitable for elderly people, 85% of which have been screened out due to not meeting their standards. You can use this as a resource to find only the best dementia apps available.

Technology has huge potential to enhance the care and support that somebody living with dementia receives. You might not think that your elderly loved one is compatible with technology, but there is hardware and software available, which is specifically designed to serve their needs and alleviate the condition they live with.

Take a look at the technology we offer clients.