The signs of Alzheimers or dementia can come on slowly and in most cases, the sufferer notices long after their family and friends have seen changes in their behaviour. For the sufferer, the diagnosis can be a huge shock and the desire to carry on as normal is huge. For those people who are still able to live on their own, there is still a requirement for a certain degree of help. This is where assistive technology can come in.
Assistive technology is a range of products designed to help the disabled, impaired or elderly with their day to day lives. It is categorised as a range of products which will allow someone to carry out a task which they would normally be able to complete if they were not impaired in some way.
It might be technology installed into their home which allows them to carry out daily functions like turning on their lights without needing to leave their bed or chair. It can also be designed to contact family and friends if anything goes wrong, offering them the peace of mind that they can be there for their loved one.
In the case of dementia and Alzheimers sufferers it is the small things which can cause the largest of problems. This may include forgetting to turn off a gas hob, leaving the door unlocked at night, leaving a ground floor window open or forgetting to turn on the heating when it is cold. All of these day to day situations can be controlled and monitored using assistive technology solutions.
Assistive technology can alert neighbours, carers or family of the fact a door has been left open (for example) allowing them to either call the patient to tell them what to do or to go to their home and check to see everything is OK. Not only does this allow the patient to live independently for longer, it means that their family can have peace of mind that their loved one is safe.
The types of assistive technology which may be useful for dementia patients is automatic reminder systems for medication and appointments, reminders to eat meals and what to have, location and tracking devices to prevent the patient from going missing and even warnings about the lights being left on.
Of course, for a dementia patient, the use of some of this technology may be difficult or impossible. This is why assistive technology is designed to be used by a huge range of people. It can be remotely operated and thus controlled by family or it can be simplified to make it easy to follow by the user. A basic tablet computer is all that is needed and the interface can be designed to be very simple indeed.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers and you want to stay in your own home, assistive technology may be the perfect solution for you.