The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Dementia is one of the most serious conditions afflicting the modern world. It affects millions of people, and cases are expected to skyrocket in the coming decades. Considering how pervasive and severe this condition is, researchers are desperate to find any options that will lessen, treat, or prevent the symptoms.
Luckily, technological advances have inadvertently made the lives of people with dementia much easier. Apps, smart tech, sensors, and much more have made it easier for those with dementia to remember important information, communicate with loved ones, and walk around their homes and neighborhoods safely. Read on to learn more about dementia and how technology is helping.
What You Should Know About Dementia
Dementia is a group of symptoms related to memory and cognitive functioning. This syndrome is caused by many diseases that work to deteriorate parts of the brain, making it increasingly difficult to function on one’s own. Though memory-related issues are the most universal and classic symptoms, people with dementia will also struggle to communicate, learn new information, and perform basic tasks. They may also struggle with other mental health concerns and exhibit significant shifts in their personality.
According to the World Health Organization, about 55 million people currently have dementia, and about 139 million people are expected to have it in 2050. It is a pervasive and challenging syndrome, and there is much research on ways to cure, lessen, or prevent these symptoms. However, none of those options are available right now, so anyone diagnosed with this condition has limited options to prevent it from progressing.
How Technology Can Help People With Dementia
Since dementia is such an enormous issue, there is considerable research on treatment options that can help. Luckily, many modern advances have made life easier for people with dementia as well as their loved ones. Below are a few of the benefits of modern technology for managing dementia.
Provides More Opportunities For Communication
With social media, texting, and video chatting, it is much easier for people with dementia to stay in contact with their loved ones. Social connection is essential as dementia symptoms can make a person feel isolated and alone. However, before modern technology, it wasn’t as easy for people to connect with their loved ones instantly. Now with modern forms of communication, loved ones can keep in contact with those who have dementia to make sure they feel loved and remain in good health.
Furthermore, these advances have also made it easier for people with dementia to talk with their doctor and care team. If they experience worrying symptoms or need extra help, those resources are available easily and quickly compared to just a few years ago.
Helps With Remembering Important Information
Memory is the first and most obvious concern for those living with dementia. Therefore, they need more frequent reminders and good ways to store information they can easily forget. Luckily, there are numerous new gadgets and technology that can help them remember important information. From automated pillboxes to phone alerts and smart tech reminders, people with dementia don’t need to worry so much about forgetting important dates or routines.
Furthermore, some new technology may help lessen the decline in memory that occurs with dementia. For example, video games and brain training apps have been shown to help maintain or even improve people’s memories. Though these won’t reverse the effects of dementia, they may play a role in lessening the progression of the condition.
Makes Walks Safer
One of the most distressing symptoms of dementia is that it can cause people to wander off and get lost in areas they usually are familiar with. This can cause great distress and confusion for the person wandering as well as their loved ones who can’t find them. Luckily, many technological not only help these people find their way home but can also alert loved ones that the person is lost.
This is a situation where having a cell phone can be life-saving. Not only does this allow the person who is lost to call someone for help right away, but they can also find their location with their phone’s GPS. They may be able to find their way back home on their own or at least can call someone who can help right away.
Additionally, some people use tracking devices to monitor their loved ones when they wander. This not only helps people know where their loved ones are at all times but can come in handy if the person gets lost or takes too long to get back home.
Furthermore, loved ones can install sensors throughout a person’s home to alert them when their loved one with dementia has left the house. This way, they know exactly when their loved one is taking a walk and when they are safe at home.
Finally, fall sensors and wearable alarms make it easier than ever to alert someone if a person with dementia has a fall or other injury while on a walk. These gadgets help alert someone right away, so the person is not alone or lost for hours or even days before being found.
Increases The Safety And Security Of Their Home
Numerous gadgets and technology can make a home safer for someone with dementia. From automatic lights and faucets to temperature alerts and motion alarms, there are many options to help people with dementia get around safely and without their loved ones worrying.
Also, as mentioned before, sensors can be installed that alert people of their loved one’s movements. These aren’t the same as cameras, as they only detect movement and don’t record the environment. This allows loved ones to know when the person with dementia is moving around or hasn’t moved in a long time. This can make it easier for loved ones to monitor their health and safety without being in the house with them.
Final Thoughts On Dementia
Though dementia is still a pervasive and heartbreaking condition, people living with it have more tools for help than ever before. Technological breakthroughs in every sector and industry can be used to help people with dementia perform their daily tasks and keep their routines without any problems or consequences for much longer.
If you or someone you know is living with dementia, you may want to consider getting some of these devices yourself. If you are interested in learning more about dementia, you can find more resources here.