How technology can help a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease

October 29, 2018
Can technology help your loved one live with Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer’s disease brings with it many fears and worries, and it’s necessary to understand and support those affected. Helping your loved one find ways to remain independent for as long as possible is one way to keep them feeling positive and in control.

The effects and dangers of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease causes a decline in the brain’s ability to function properly, and accounts for 60-80 per cent of dementia cases. Affecting memory, thinking, and behaviour, the disease can affect an individual’s ability to remain independent as it progresses. The timeframe of this varies from two to 20 years and covers many stages.

Alzheimer's disease impacts an individual's ability to learn new skills and concepts. Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain’s ability to function, making learning new skills and concepts difficult.

Symptoms that you may see affecting your loved one in the earlier stages include:

  • Difficulty in remembering recent events.
  • Trouble learning new skills, or concepts.
  • Mood swings, and changing sleep patterns.
  • Losing their train of thought.
  • Confusion about people, places, or events.
  • Disorientation.

Individuals can find living with these symptoms difficult, and they can cause problems if not managed properly. For example, many people with dementia begin wandering and won’t always know how they ended up somewhere, or how to return home. Even something simple like cooking dinner can become riskier for individuals, as forgetting what they’re doing increases the danger of house fires.

Alzheimer’s is currently a terminal condition. However, while medicine searches for a cure, it’s still possible to help a loved one who’s been diagnosed with the disease. With the right support and care, longer-term independence remains possible for individuals who aren’t facing the disease alone.

How technology can help those with Alzheimer’s disease

Technology can complement the support of a carer, and help provide around-the-clock support to those living with Alzheimer’s disease. It can create a safer environment, allow unobtrusive 24/7 monitoring, and increase social interaction for your loved one. Technology can also give them more independence. So what are some of the solutions out there?

Connected care and Alzheimer’s disease

People living with Alzheimer’s find that familiar locations and routine tasks help reduce frustration and confusion. Connected care provides a way for your loved one to remain in their home, giving them this comfort while also knowing that you or a carer will be notified should something go wrong.

Home comforts can reduce confusion and frustration for people with Alzheimer's.Remaining in their own home can provide comfort and security for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

For example, a Find-Me watch means you don’t have to worry about where they are. With a perimeter alert, an emergency button, the ability to receive inbound calls and fall detection all built in along with GPS location tracking, the watch provides assurance that you know where your loved one is at any given moment.

A property exit sensor is another piece of technology that gives you the security of knowing when your loved one leaves their home.

Within the house, many different types of sensors are available to improve safety and security. Flood detectors prevent the risk of slipping on wet floors or water damage from occurring to the home. Bed occupancy sensors track when the individual goes to bed, or if they’ve gotten up during the night. They can also trigger lights, helping your loved one return to bed.

Additionally, smoke detectors that alert family members of carers as well as the individual decrease the risk involved with cooking. Temperature extreme sensors are useful for this as well, and also for ensuring that over winter the home doesn’t get too cold.

Having access to 24/7 monitoring centres gives you and your loved one peace of mind. A complete connected care system built around their individual needs is a discreet way of providing security, while allowing them to continue living life as they’ve always done.

If you’d like to know more about how connected care may give your loved one the support they need to retain their independence, reach out to the team at Tunstall Healthcare for help creating a personalised solution.

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