Dementia Caregiving? There’s an App for That!
Taking care of someone with dementia is a big job. Depending on the stage of dementia and a loved one’s abilities, dementia caregiving can involve a wide-ranging set of challenges for both the person with dementia and the caregiver. Thankfully, technology is catching up to the unique needs of people with dementia and their caregivers. The widespread adoption of smartphones means that both people in a dementia caregiving relationship likely use apps. And like many other everyday tasks—there’s an app for that! Here are a few of the ways that smartphone apps can aid in dementia caregiving.
Safety. One big worry for caregivers is making sure the person they’re caring for doesn’t wander off or get lost. There are many special trackers that can be worn like a watch or put in a pocket or shoe. These trackers use GPS, which is like a map on your phone, to locate the person. If they go too far from home, the caregiver gets an alert on their phone. This way, the caregiver can quickly find and help their loved one. When looking for a GPS tracking device, keep in mind the range of the device, and any subscription or data fees that may apply.
Reminders. These apps can be set up to remind the person with dementia about important things like taking their medicine, eating meals, drinking water, or going to doctor’s appointments. The reminders can come as a beep or a message on a phone or a tablet. This can be very helpful for people who have trouble remembering things.
Communication. Sometimes people with dementia find it hard to talk about what they need or how they feel. Some apps have pictures or simple words that the person can point to. This makes it easier for them to tell caregivers what they need or how they’re feeling.
Memory games. There are apps with games designed to help people with dementia keep their brain engaged. These games can be like puzzles, matching games, or memory challenges. They’re not just fun; they also help the brain stay active. Keeping the brain active will not cure dementia, but it may help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
Task trackers. These apps can store medical information, appointment times, and notes about how the person with dementia is doing each day. This helps the caregiver stay organized and make sure nothing important is forgotten.
Video chat. They let caregivers check in and see how the person with dementia is doing, even if they can’t be there in person. This can be a big help for caregivers who live far away or work during the day.
Entertainment. Applications designed to soothe and entertain people with dementia are helpful in keeping a loved one occupied and content.
As our tech-focused society gets older, more and more technology is available that is specifically designed for older adults and their caregivers. Technology can help make the job of a caregiver a little bit easier and help the person with dementia feel safer and more connected.
Source: IlluminAge AgeWise