According to the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report, “An estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.” Lisa Cini describes the latest memory care solutions and practical ideas to keep family members safe at home and help them continue to feel valuable and independent.
“The Weiss Institute demonstrated that ‘the design of the built environment has an impact on the functioning (physical and social) of individuals living with dementia.’ If you design with ‘L.O.V.E.’ (Light, Optimization, Visual cues and Ease) you can increase independence and dignity,” says Lisa Cini, expert on designing for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The latest technologies that can make an Alzheimer sufferer and the family’s life easier and less frustrating include:
- Robotic Technology: In Ireland, Mylo the robot acts as a personal home assistant to alleviate some of the stress and worry involved with caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, while promoting and maintaining their independence. Mylo can sense a fall or cardiac event, check the heart rate, locate his patient within the home and, if needed, initiate an emergency response and alert the care giver if the sufferer wanders. Another robotic Milo is now being tested in the U.S. help to exercise the patient and even tell stories. Milo speaks a bit slower, is easier to understand and does not get irritated when the same questions are asked repeatedly.
- Lighting: The Battery-Powered Motion-Sensing LED Stick-Anywhere Nightlight can be used on stairs, bathrooms, closets, kitchen and hallways. The Human Charger light therapy device enhances energy levels and helps sufferers get restful, sustained sleep.
- The Dementia Day Cycle Clock displays the day of the week and morning, afternoon, evening or night, helping people living with dementia or early stage Alzheimer’s, who often lose the ability to distinguish between days of the week and cycles of the day.
- Med-Q Automatic Pill Dispenser will flash the corresponding day slot with a bright red light and blast an alarm that increases in volume until they take their pills.
- A One Button Dementia Radio allows the user to turn the radio on and off without confusing buttons & dials.
- The Wander Alarm Security Alert chimes or vibrates to let you know that the door or window has been opened. This system is great for home use or notifying caregivers when a resident leaves their room, opens a window or enters an unattended area.
- iGuardStove and FireAvert are automatic stove shut-off devices to prevent a fire or burned pan from unattended or forgotten cooking, saving lives and property.
- Joy for All Companion Pets respond to hugging, petting and motion similar to any typical cat or dog, mimicking the movement and purring sound of a cat to bring comfort and companionship.
“Make an environment simple and intuitive by limiting choices to increase independence and confidence,” adds Cini. “Technology allows families to keep their loved ones safe and out of harm’s way as Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can feel overwhelmed when they have too many options.”
Lisa Cini has authored: The Future is Here: Senior Living Reimagined, and Hive: The Simple Guide to Multigenerational Living, where Lisa describes her own family’s multi-generational social experiment and her latest book, BOOM: The Baby Boomers Guide to Leveraging Technology, so that you can Preserve Your Independent Lifestyle & Thrive.