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Caregivers in Kansas City are paying attention to the predictions for use of technological advances in dementia care. As discussed in our previous blog, Technology in Dementia Care in Kansas City, the applications available for use on electronic devices can be beneficial to caregivers and patients alike in a variety of ways. To expand on that subject, Home Care Assistance looks into more ways technology might be useful in caregiving.
We know that the prevalence of dementia is increasing in our society, impacting literally millions of people. As with many other innovations that humanity has experienced throughout history, technological advancements continue to be developed to help caregivers manage dementia care. There are literally hundreds of apps available. Already in wide use are smartphones, electronic calendars, medication management applications, video monitoring systems and more. These technologies are potentially the wave of the future for dementia care. It’s left to the caregivers to decide if they want to take advantage of them.
In the case of a video monitoring camera system, there are quite obviously benefits to the use of such a system.
However, using cameras for monitoring can have legal ramifications, for example, cameras can be considered an invasion of privacy. While they are an excellent method of staying on top of a caregiver’s and patient’s activities, homeowners and family members should educate themselves on issues with the use of such a monitoring system.
We mentioned Telehealth in another previous blog, which enables caregivers to provide care remotely. Why is Telehealth important? This type of technology can be helpful when traveling becomes difficult for individuals and their caregivers. Telehealth can assist with tracking, navigation, monitoring systems, and online access to store resources. Telehealth Facts Article.
Innovations in facial recognition software like Google Lens can help aging seniors recognize their caregivers. These are eyeglasses worn by the patient that displays a computer screen in the lens. People’s facial features are stored in the device’s memory and can help seniors recognize people who they have met in the past. This can help temper feelings of anxiety and fear that go hand-in-hand with dementia.
Researchers and caregivers alike acknowledge that music has a profound effect on dementia care as it can help reduce agitation and depression in patients with Alzheimer’s and memory loss. Caregivers can create personalized playlists of memorable music which helps to stimulate mental activity and have a calming effect. Renowned Alzheimer’s researcher and musician Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, in collaboration with music and technology experts, created SPARK Memories Radio to meet this need for patients and caregivers.
The GPS bracelet sounds interesting and might be worth looking at more closely. It would seem to be a worthy device to help with monitoring an adult with memory loss who has a tendency to wander off. However, according to an article from AARP, some of these apps have very little reality with what people with dementia are experiencing. It might cause agitation in the person wearing it or, worse, the bracelet could give a false sense of security for the caregiver about the safety of their loved one. Obviously, some devices may not be as effective as developers intended, but technology is constantly evolving so the GPS bracelet might be something to keep an eye on for future consideration.
Caregivers who may be skeptical of using any of these types of devices or software should consult with family members and carefully evaluate them together. Having a thorough understanding of the potential outcomes from the use of electronic devices and software applications can help with making informed decisions about their use.
Home Care Assistance approaches dementia care in an innovative, creative, compassionate and committed way. Adapting to technological assistance helps our dementia care recipients and our home health caregivers to provide the very best dementia care available in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
To speak with a Care Manager or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us at 913-663-5000, or visit us online.