What is dementia?
Dementia is not a single disease, but an umbrella term generally used to describe a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Forgetfulness is the most common symptom, however, difficulties with problem-solving, concentration and perception can also be part of this cognitive impairment.
As well as affecting their general health, this progressive condition has a profound impact on people’s emotions, how they behave and their everyday life.
There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, making it one of the most common medical issues among those aged 65 and over.
Specialist dementia aids and sensory aids can provide comfort and help improve the quality of life for those affected.
What are dementia aids?
From reducing the likelihood of forgetting daily tasks and the risk of falls to helping with recollection, dementia aids are products specifically designed to help people suffering from dementia and their carers.
Dementia can be very challenging for both the person affected as well as family members and carers, however, it is possible to live a better life with this condition.
It is very important to remember that dementia affects people in different ways, depending on the type of dementia. The effects can be physical, emotional and psychological and therefore the type of aids and assistance will depend on individual circumstances.
For example, those who struggle remembering everyday tasks may benefit from daily living aids such as dementia clocks while care alarms can provide extra peace of mind with patients on bed rest.
Support from family and cares is essential when choosing aids and strategies to maintain a good, dignified quality of life for the patient and often it may be necessary to try different tools and see what works best.
What are examples of dementia aids?
Traditional memory aids
There is a wide range of simple tools that can help people with impaired memory, reduce confusion and also help carrying out day to day activities. These can include:
- Sticky notes around the home or living environment can be extremely helpful to remind someone about a particular task or the function of different household devices.
- Calendars or noticeboards listing activities happening that day, appointments and contact numbers are simple yet effective memory aids for those struggling with short-term memory.
- Keeping a diary or journal and jotting down a few sentences about how about what an individual is doing or how they feel is a powerful way to recollect and reminisce.
- Pill organisers and dispensers will help ensure the correct medicine doses are taken and when.
Electronic memory aids
In this fast-growing age of technology, there are also many electronic devices that can assist with daily tasks.
- Offering calendars, reminders, photo and audio storage, mobile phones and tablets can be excellent memory aids.
- Using an alarm clock or a watch with an alarm are particularly useful to remember appointments, activities or when something they are cooking is ready.
- There is also a wide range of dementia-friendly apps ranging from brain training games and maps to mindfulness and relaxation.
Dementia aids can really help make a home or care environment a safer and more comfortable place, regardless of what stage your loved one’s dementia may be at.
Living in a positive, dementia-friendly environment, one that supports their health, independence and safety, will reinforce their wellbeing and personal control.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia, contact Gracewell Healthcare to find out more about how we can help. You can also visit your nearest Gracewell home.