Long before Alzheimer’s compromises a senior’s ability to care for him or herself, it makes lifestyle changes challenging. The adjustment to a new home can be overwhelming for a senior in the beginning stages of the disease, since Alzheimer’s undermines the ability of those it afflicts to learn new things. This means that moving into assisted living or a family member’s house can be scary and even traumatic. With the advent of home monitoring services, though, people with Alzheimer’s are living safely alone for longer periods of time.
When Tracking of Activity Can Be a Good Thing
We’ve all heard stories about how technology is increasingly being employed to monitor average citizens and reactions to this kind of tracking vary, but a company called SmartThings has set out to make this monitoring a good thing for people with Alzheimer’s. The company uses motion sensors, wearable devices, and similar products to help caregivers monitor loved ones from a distance. Caregivers can get an alert if a loved one leaves the home at odd hours, and can track eating, sleeping, and movement habits using a smartphone app.
Other companies, such as Lively and BeClose, offer sensors for bedrooms and pillboxes, enabling caregivers to ensure their loved ones maintain safe and healthy habits. Companies such as Lowe’s and AT&T have also begun marketing monitoring kits that can be used to help those with Alzheimer’s. Many people with Alzheimer’s are forced to move to assisted living when their safety becomes an issue, so these devices can prolong the period of safety, allowing seniors to maintain somewhat independent lives.
Other Ways to Prolong Independence
New technologies aren’t the only option for prolonging seniors’ independence and improving quality of life. Other techniques include:
- Mindfulness training. According to a recent study, both caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients can benefit from learning to focus on the present moment.
- Automating bill payments and other recurring responsibilities so that memory challenges don’t give rise to financial concerns.
- Maintaining a detailed calendar, and keeping a clock in plain view so that time management is easier.
- dementia and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Setting up reminders. A smartphone app that reminds the person with Alzheimer’s to attend doctor’s appointments, call loved ones, or take medication can make life much easier.
- Blaszczak-Boxe, A. (2014, August 27). Mindfulness training helps Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-training-helps-alzheimers-patients-and-caregivers/
- Kelly, H. (2014, August 26). Sensors let Alzheimer’s patients stay at home, safely. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/25/tech/innovation/alzheimers-smart-home/
- Scott, P. S. (n.d.). Memory enhancers for dementia. Retrieved from http://www.caring.com/articles/memory-enhancers-for-alzheimers
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