There are few things more devastating for a family than learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The diagnosis can wreak havoc not just on the sufferer, but on their family and caregivers as well.
Science gets better every day, though, and doctors and researchers have come up with many ways to help all those involved. This may be through a device, or through a pattern of behavior, or just a way of seeing things differently. Here are a number of tips and products to help families cope with dementia.
One big worry of those caring for someone with dementia is that they might wander off. If this is to happen, the elderly individual may be confused where they are and while people may try to help, they probably won’t be able to if they can’t get the proper information.
Here’s where a special locator bracelet or belt attachment comes in handy. The technology works similarly to the “Find My Phone” style of apps. The family can track down their loved one with GPS and make sure they are safe and sound.
Figuring out today’s smartphones can be a daunting task for people of any age. But for elderly citizens living with memory problems, their phones can at times seem impossible to use.
One solution for this is phones that work with pictures rather than letters and numbers. Users who want to call a loved one don’t have to type anything into the device, they simply need to touch a picture of the person they mean to call.
A Stuffed Pet To Interact With
One thing that can really help memory loss sufferers by providing unconditional love and warmth is the companionship of a pet. Unfortunately, people with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are not always suited to take care of a living animal.
Some innovative tech companies have stepped in to provide a solution. They’ve created stuffed animals that purr, interact, and can be petted like a normal animal. The pets will provide patients with activity and love without the hassle of feedings or walks.
Elderly people are often taken advantage of via scams. Up to 77% of these scams happen over the phone and result in a loss of an estimated $36 billion each year. People suffering from memory loss are even bigger targets.
There is a way, though, to prevent this from happening to your loved one. You can purchase them a call blocking service subscription. This service will filter out any unwanted calls and allow for only family or doctors to get in touch with the elderly citizen.
Large Digital Clocks
Standard clocks can be problematic for people with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, one of the standard tests to see if someone may be suffering from dementia is to have them draw a clock. If they are unable to, further testing may be recommended.
People who suffer from memory loss can also have trouble determining if it is nighttime or daytime. There are special clocks made for people with Alzheimer’s. These digital clocks feature very large numbers and may also provide additional information like the day of the week.
Robotic Home Aids
The use of robots in the home has always seemed like a far-off futuristic idea. But robots are slowly starting to work their way into our everyday lives. And these mechanical helpers can also be useful for people with dementia.
The robots aren’t meant to replace human caregivers, they’re meant to make their lives easier. The helpers can remind patients when it’s time to take their medication, handle light housework, and also alert the proper people in the event of an emergency.
Caregivers of those suffering from dementia cannot always be present in the home. But they still want to make sure their loved ones are safe, secure, and taking their medications. One of the best ways to accomplish is through in-home cameras.
These cameras can be placed in areas that need caregivers’ focus, such as where medication is taken. Some of these devices also allow conversation with the patient throughout the day.
Create A Memory Book
By the time people begin suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they have usually lived long and full lives. Loved ones can aid them by creating memory books or collages with pictures of family, friends, and happy experiences.
The benefit of these books is manifold. Not only do they help to jog the memory, but they also create a calming center. Doctors note that a memory book can also be used as a security tool when the patient goes somewhere new and unfamiliar
Keeping track of important dates is essential for people suffering from dementia. Not only do they want to make sure they remember things like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, but doctors’ appointments are often frequent.
While it might seem a bit simplistic, one of the best ways to ensure that these dates are not overlooked is by purchasing a very large wall calendar. This large schedule can help to make sure that nothing is missed.
Playing Brain Games
Many have heard that reading frequently and playing games like Sudoku can help prevent memory loss in the future. But even if dementia has already set in, that doesn’t mean that these types of memory games still can’t be effective.
Many of the games designed for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s use playing cards, which involve dots or suits. Trying to match up these numbers and objects can help to trigger positive memories in the minds of patients.
Routine Is Very Important
Did your loved one enjoy gardening before the memory loss set in? Maybe they were a regular churchgoer or enjoyed going out to dinner. It is important to keep them involved in these sorts of routines as much as possible.
The way they perform these tasks may be different than it was before. Maybe they can’t use hedge clippers in the garden, but can still weed and water. A sense of consistency is important to the patient.
When people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease take a bath or shower, they can sometimes get confused with the temperature controls on the faucet and end up suffering from bad burns.
There are anti-scalding devices that help ensure that this does not happen to your loved one. Once installed, this device will control the temperature and make sure that the water doesn’t get too hot. The apparatus will also ensure that the temperature doesn’t change if a nearby toilet is flushed.
Be Prepared For Different Behaviors
People with Alzheimer’s disease often act in a much different manner than they did before. A parent or spouse that was normally even-keeled may become unusually aggressive and combative.
Many of these behaviors are due to frustration and an inability to communicate in the usual manner. Loved ones or caregivers who encounter this behavior have to remember to be patient and understand the root causes. Anything you can do to manage the patient’s stress level will be helpful.
One of the most important things for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is to make sure they are keeping up with their medication. With the terrible symptoms of the diseases, this is often easier said than done.
Pillboxes are one great way to make taking to large volumes of medication easier. And now there are special pillboxes that can help even more. The new devices are often outfitted with alarms, light-up color coding, and countdown timers.
Play Plenty Of Music
No matter what age a person is, there usually remains a love for music. A person suffering from dementia can forget things like the names of loved ones or the date of their anniversary.
But research shows that the memory for music remains, and it can help soothe Alzheimer’s patients. Many wonderful moments were shared with loved ones over music, so fire up their favorite song and let the music take over.
Make Sure You Take Care Of The Caregiver
Many people who have a loved one with dementia get help from a caregiver. These people are lifesavers and give extra special attention to the people you care about most.
These caregivers have a lot on their plate and can often get burned out and stressed. It can be really beneficial to the quality of care if you make it a point to help the caregiver. Allow them to take breaks and keep up with regular and helpful communication.
Apple watches, like most of the company’s products, are hip and cool. They feature plenty of different apps that make users’ lives less complicated. And some of these apps can even help people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
If the patient encounters an emergency, there is an SOS button that can reach help immediately. The watch can also store pertinent medical information so doctors can get necessary information if the patient isn’t able to give it to them.
Comfort Therapy Dolls
People who are suffering from memory loss can really be helped by devices that are both calming and comforting. With the brain going in many different directions, it is essential to find a way for the patient to get centered.
One thing that doctors have found beneficial in this instance is holding a baby. Using a real baby is impractical for a number of reasons. A few companies, though, produce therapy dolls that can be held and nurtured at any time of the day.
Caregivers and loved ones of dementia patients are often told that mind games are a good way to keep the brain healthy. There are lots of different activities that could help in this respect.
One great and fun way to keep the mind active is by doing puzzles. And some companies have created specialized puzzles for people who suffer from memory loss. The games have borders to keep the pieces from going missing and the pictures are meant to help jog memories.
Specialized Stores For Alzheimer’s Products
There are many other products out there that can really aid the family members of people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Figuring out what they are and how they may work can be difficult, though.
Life is made a lot easier by retailers such as The Alzheimer’s Store and MindCare which can be found online. The creators of the sites have combed the net for the very best products that can make life a bit easier for people suffering from memory loss.