When you are serious about promoting sustainability, you need to make it part of every aspect of your life. This is true even when you have a family member suffering from a serious cognitive disorder. You need to explore environmentally friendly solutions.
The good news is that new technology has paved the way for new environmentally friendly options. Here are some things to be aware of.
Technology Offers More Environmentally Friendly Ways to Treat Dementia
There’s absolutely no doubt when we say that technology has had its disrupting impact in almost each and every sector. From virtual reality letting people view properties on the other part of the world to blockchain enhancing the security of financial transactions within the finance world, there are many innovative start-ups and organizations which have emerged through the years, thereby bringing about a change in the way people function and bring out solutions to the most complicated problems.
One such area which has gone through a dramatic surge in popularity is medical technology, which is also known as medtech. Recently, you must have seen a 3D infrared robot technology performing a knee surgery and also how bio-electrics has redefined the entire healthcare system. In a nutshell, it can’t be denied at all that technology has also entered the medical world and is bringing about welcoming changes.
Soaring cases of dementia all over the globe – Will tech provide support?
Did you know that presently there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who are living with dementia and the cases are similar in the US and in Australia? Both these countries have a soaring level of dementia sufferers. This number is poised to cross the mark of 1 million by the time it is 2025. Dementia doesn’t only affect the person who is suffering from the disease but also their family members who are caring for dementia patients.
Conventionally, technology provided support to those who were suffering from dementia with telecare and dementia-friendly alarms. However, later in 2014, the UK body, National Pensioners Convention spoke against the use of electronic tags which were used to track those who had been suffering from dementia. They suggested that there should be better social care of the person outside their community.
However, as of now, there is a shift in technology as there is more focus on offering the best kind of social care for all those who are going through their journey of dementia. Technology is reinforcing the vitality of wellbeing and it is also stimulating physical, cognitive and social activity. Though it is true that isn’t possible to cure anyone who is suffering from dementia, you can definitely invest in care which can promise to slow down the progression of cognitive decline and which encourages engagement.
Increasingly large numbers experience happy moments due to ‘technology’
You’ll be rather happy to know that tech has presently been installed in around 200 care services and this clearly implies that there are many who experience happy moments daily using different forms of technology.
A Trip down memory lane
As we said that technology has already revolutionized care for the people who are suffering from dementia, they’re doing it through projections by Google Street View, letting those on the same journey to take a trip down their memory lane. The jDome Bike Around was actually developed in Sweden and it leverages Google Street View to take the people for a bike tour where they can explore their countries, hometowns without having to leave their building. A projector works up to show the streets and the users are seated in front of the screen. The user can operate the bike with handles and pedals to move around. As the bike is able to take them to places that they’ve visited before, this gives them a chance to reminisce their fond memories.
The Wayback is yet another virtual reality app which has the power of triggering memories and conversations among people who are suffering from dementia. This app immerses the user within the sounds and sights of the past thereby sparking happy memories and bringing back a lost sense of comfort and identity. The ultimate goal is to enhance the state of mind and the well-being of the dementia patient.
Handling dementia head on
According to previous research, it has been proved that if you could stimulate environments, this could contribute to a rather positive engagement for all those who are living with dementia. The stimulation may come in the form of interactive lights, music or just chatting. Dementia care that is powered by technology is getting too mainstream and this has started improving conditions of all those who suffer from this disease. One of the most genuinely useful tools for social and medical care is innovative technology. Previously there were several studies which started questioning whether or not innovation technology could cure cancer.
Can technology assist the neurologists in slowing down symptoms of dementia?
Being diagnosed with dementia is a traumatic experience both for the patient and for the home care providers who are mostly the family members who spend their entire lives playing the role of a caregiver. There have to be several changes in their lifestyle as and when the patient gradually loses his abilities to complete his daily tasks.
Dementia itself is not a disease but it is the umbrella term which includes several types of symptoms which include the inability to use cognitive skills, memory loss and cognitive impairment to such a level that may even hamper his performance and daily activities. It is sad enough to note that dementia has already affected 45 million people all over the world and by 2050, this number is expected to triple. If a patient has to be diagnosed with dementia, he should have at least 2 or more than two symptoms like language and communication impairment, memory loss, incapability of concentrating on things, not being able to think rationally or problems in visual perception. As the brain cells get damaged, the person is not able to communicate effectively with each other.
When a patient suffers from dementia, he will undergo several behavioral changes which get quite distressing for the near and dear ones as they try their best to assist the patient in coping with them. Anxiety, irritability, delusions, hallucinations, depression and disturbances in sleep are a few of the most common changes which come to a person who has been diagnosed with dementia.
It is fortunate enough to note that with the recent boom in the world of technology, there are many neurologists all over the world who have begun to leverage the best technological innovations to halt or alleviate the progress of the illness among elder adults. Hence, as there was no cure for dementia symptoms previously, thanks to technological advancements that dementia patients can now lead a better and easy life. Here’s what technology has to offer to such patients.
- Dementia-friendly clocks
Dementia patients often lose the ability to understand what time of the day it is and they get unnecessarily anxious over this. Technology has helped us design the best dementia-friendly clocks which can ease off the anxiety that is associated with this disease. When a person gets confused between day and night, it is through an easy-to-read clock that they can understand the time. The caregivers are also relieved as they can make their patients believe that it is that time of the day that they say it is.
- Monitoring through electrical appliances
There are many who are not able to stay with their loved ones during their old age due to work concerns. This is a piece of technology that helps those caregivers who don’t stay with their family member. This device expertly monitors the use of electrical appliances by plugging a wall outlet or a power strip which sends alerts to the caregivers whenever their commonly used appliances aren’t turned on or off. Though such diseases don’t reduce the symptoms of the disease but they at least make the disease more manageable than before.
- Communication aids
If you have to maintain good quality life while suffering from the disease, you have to stay well connected with people around you. Dementia patients can often recall the way an event made them feel even though they might not remember the names and faces of the people involved. Caregivers can use adapted telephones which can be programmed in such a manner that frequently dialed numbers are entered in the phone so that they can call easily. The buttons should be larger than usual. You can also use chat services like Skype or FaceTime as they too are a great way to keep in touch with people who are geographically farther from you.
- Automatic pillboxes
It is also true at the same time that neurologists can’t do pretty much when a patient doesn’t take his medicines on time. For a dementia patient to remember all his medicines and to take them on time is a bit too tough as memory loss is often the first symptom. If medicines aren’t taken on time, there can be a sudden increase in symptoms which can lead to the progression of the disease. Here you can solve issues by using an automated pillbox. These boxes beep whenever it’s time for medicine and it works both as a reminder for the patient and his caregiver.
- GPS tracking and location devices
During the later stage of dementia, there are many patients who go out of their homes and wander around only to get lost. In the US, UK and in Australia the number of patients who are getting lost and are never found is soaring like never before. This hike in number can be stopped by making the patients wear tracking devices which can be worn. These devices usually have alert systems through which the caregiver gets to know when the patient has left a definite area. You can find out the patient by tracking his location through GPS.
- In-home cameras
One more great way of making sure that your family member is safe from a distance is by installing in-home cameras. When there is an all-time camera that is focused on the main room, on the medication, you can rest assured that the loved one is active and is taking all the medicines. In fact, there are also cameras which let you speak to your near and dear ones and that also monitor movement.
- Monitoring devices for home
These home monitoring devices allow the thermostats to be changed according to temperature, lights to be turned on and off and they also give you a wide range of safety measures which send alerts through smartphone apps. For long-distance caregivers, this is yet another great option to ensure the safety of the loved one.
- Home care robots
With the progress in the field of technology, researchers are also welcoming home care robots which can help in easing off the huge burden of the caregiver. These robots have been tailor-made to help and not replace human caregivers. They are able to perform usual household tasks and they also remind them to take their medicines on time. In case there is assistance needed, the robot can contact a medical health professional.
- Picture phones
These are made particularly for the people who are not able to remember phone numbers of people who they love. If they need to contact someone immediately, it is possible to do so as these phones have larger numbers. You can also place photos of the people against their buttons so that whenever the person pushes a button, it gets connected to their loved one.
- Video monitoring technology
This technology records the behavior of patients and also lets the caregiver analyze the behavior of the loved one. The doctors can also give instant feedback and the advice that is required regarding how you can control and curb sudden unregulated behavior, thereby slowing down the process of degeneration. This technology includes temperature detectors, bed sensors, movement and exit sensors and other functions which can track and monitor the activity of the patients.
So, thanks to the tech experts who have been relentlessly working on innovating new gadgets and devices that could assist dementia patients in leading an effortless and easy life. Invest in some of the above-mentioned gadgets to make dementia a little more manageable.
Technology Makes Green Dementia Treatments More Available
If you are serious about green living, then you need to practice what you preach at all times. This means looking for the most sustainable treatment options for family members with dementia. Fortunately, new technology has made that possible.