In a world of innovation and technology, there are now many ways in which technology can help people living with dementia, and their family.
Here are some technology solututions that can really make a difference, and some that have the potential to:
These are shoes with embedded GPS trackers built in. You connect this with an application on your mobile phone to track the person wearing the shoes.
This can increase independence for people with dementia, as they can go out and their family, or carer can track their movements, if they get lost or are longer than expected, then they can be located quickly and easily.
Google Glass/Wearable connected glasses
A solution such as Google Glass has potential to help those with dementia to remember who people are. This could be done by setting up a memory bank of faces of the people they know and interact with as images with relevant data attached. Then a facial recognition system can bring up the matching person in the Glasses, reminding the user who they are.
Smart watches are a great wearable with huge potential to help as they can be used for medication reminders as well as GPS tracking.
They have potential for monitoring elderly or at risk people. And for Care Workers, family and other health professionals to quickly identify any changes in health such as heart rate, any out of the ordinary movement changes. They could also be linked to emergency services. They could really improve health outcomes and save lives.
Hand held devices
Tablets and applications
There are so many applications that are available on tablets now, and more are being developed to help people living with dementia. Creating digital memory books is something that can be done together with the person being then they are able to launch it to look at whenever they like.
Tablets are much easier for someonme with dementia to use as they are more erganomic in nature, and have less complications than the traditional desktop. The ability to simply put you finger on an icon and launch is much easier.
Applications you might use are; vintage radio, memory games, Youtube (for watching some reminiscence videos), social media to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Facetime/Skype can help to keep in touch with family. We also have the potential for health practitioners to do a check up via a video call so that someone with less mobility can stay in the comfort of their home.
Medication alert applications are also available.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is still emerging. There is potential to help people become much more independent as well as being an efficient intervention tool.
Much is being done currently around sensors and GPS systems around the home to help create visibility of how long someone is in the bathroom, have they left the house, and how long have they been gone for, was the fridge opened?
There are also internet linked fridges that can reorder things for you with a click as and when you run out. Also, remote controlling your home heating and lighting, among other things.
Virtual reality is an emerging technology, it could have potential to emerse a user into another world, for instance in use with reminiscence therapy.
We have so much potential now to really help people who are not only living with dementia, but also those who are more vulnerable to stay in their home and be assisted to live independently. These advancements also mean that people can get help faster, reducing risks significantly.