Using Technology To Improve The Quality Of Life For People With Dementia
Caregivers of people who have dementia are very special individuals. Needless to say, it’s not exactly an easy task to both look after the physical needs and tend to the emotional well-being of those who suffer from the disorder.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a progressive and neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain. Memory loss, diminished abilities to problem solve or reason, significant behavioral changes and mood swings are the most common symptoms associated with dementia.
While there are numerous forms of the disorder, Alzheimer’s is the most common. And, at present, Canada is battling what the Canadian Nurses Association describes as an epidemic. They reveal that dementia affects a half-million Canadians and costs our healthcare system upwards of $15 billion a year.
Naturally, caregivers of dementia patients face numerous challenges, especially since the symptoms of the disease tend to worsen over time. Caregivers are often called upon to find activities to help their care recipients to remain mentally active and emotionally upbeat. Commonly, such activities include painting, knitting, working on puzzles, reading books or newspapers, gardening and even cleaning up around the house.
These are all excellent choices. However, in 2018, we all have access to a wide variety of technological advances that work wonders in the world of caregiving.
Video games to the rescue!
Who says video games are only for children? As explained by ScienceDaily.com, last year, a trio of Université de Montréal professors conducted an experiment that concluded that some video games, when played by individuals between the ages of 55 and 75, can “stave off mild cognitive impairment and perhaps even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”
At Senior Homecare by Angels, we can’t say that this comes as much of a surprise. We once had a client with dementia who had a background as an aircraft pilot. His caregiver purchased a reasonably priced flight simulation program, loaded it up on a laptop computer and connected it to a television. The client raised his head, took the joystick and was smiling for the first time in months!
Turn phone calls into face-to-face conversations.
Nearly every smartphone used today provides calling capabilities that allow for there to be face-to-face interactions. Whether it’s through iPhone’s Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp’s video calling feature, phone calls can now be made in ways that help dementia sufferers know and remember exactly who they’re speaking with.
You may even want to opt for a picture phone. These devices are specifically designed for people who cannot remember phone numbers. They have large numbers that are pre-programmable with frequently called phone numbers. However, many of them also come with clear buttons that allow for photos to be placed underneath them. That way, their users can simply push the buttons associated with the people they wish to call.
Curious to know more about the modern-day devices that can help you care for your dementia sufferer? The Senior Homecare by Angels team would be only too happy to help you. We have a lot of experience working with families who require assistance caring for their family members who have disabilities, chronic illnesses or simply just need a little companion care.
When caring for your senior mom or dad becomes too difficult to juggle, our caregivers can help reduce your worries and your workload. If you have questions or feedback for us on what you just read, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to chat with you.
~ Senior Homecare by Angels Calgary team