Memory loss is a tough thing to experience, especially for seniors who suffer from it, as well as their families. Not only can memory loss impact interpersonal relationships, it can have a direct influence on personal health. The good news is that today’s technology is making a difference. From wearable devices to instant communication, technology is revolutionizing memory loss care, and helping individuals lead safer, more active lifestyles.
Communication and Social Interaction
A cell phone is an excellent tool for memory loss care. It allows the owner to get in touch with caregivers or loved ones at will, which improves social interaction and memory building. Similarly, the default screen for most phones is a clock/calendar that will help memory loss patients with time and date orientation. But today’s smart phones go even further, including:
- Contacts List - Having the ability to review contacts and text messages, helps those with memory loss by giving them memory clues.
- Timers and Alarms - Alarms, including specific names like “Take your thyroid meds,” or “You have a doctor’s appointment in 1 hour,” can help loved ones with regular functions and appointments. To help with memory, alarms can be reviewed any time, so the owner or caregiver will know what’s on the schedule.
- Photo Gallery - Individual photo galleries can be saved in the phone, providing helpful reminders and memory clues for people and locations. Using photos in contacts provides name and contact association with a person’s face.
Monitors and Cameras
There is a range of cameras and monitors available that can be used for memory loss applications. Even something as simple as a security system or smoke alarm can be a big benefit, but more elaborate technological devices are available as well:
- Electrical Appliance Monitors - These devices can be used locally to sound an alarm, when a device has been left on for a long period of time, or accessed remotely so that family members or caregivers can make sure that everything is operating appropriately. Some devices are even equipped with timers for automatically shutting an appliance down after a period of time.
- Webcams - A webcam can be deployed almost anywhere, indoors and out. In addition to offering immediate contact and ongoing security, they can also record video that may be helpful in locating a loved one or retracing a sequence of events. A webcam is also a good way to ascertain that caregivers are performing adequately and treating loved ones with respect and professional behavior.
- Smart Home Technology - Smart technology is a facet of the emerging field known as Internet of Things, or IoT. Devices that may be connected to IoT include everything from security systems, to TV and radio, or home appliances like the dishwasher, stove, or water heater. Since the IoT system can be accessed remotely, it allows family members to maintain a level of control over the home environment from anywhere.
Wearable devices can be used for fitness or health. Capable of monitoring everything from respiratory rate to blood sugar, wearable technology can also be connected to bluetooth devices or computers, for off site monitoring or recording real time data.
Technology is not limited to personal use devices. Medical technology has made significant advances, which allow caregivers to remain informed of a person’s medical status at all times. Body sensors and vital statistic monitors are becoming common, and help doctors provide better care in critical situations. But other tools, including 3 dimensional internal imaging and devices designed expressly for memory loss assistance, are either already on the market or scheduled for release in the near future.
At Sarasota Bay Club, we want to make sure our residents receive the best care possible. Informing loved ones about technology that can provide more information as it is needed is one way we do that, along with maintaining an expert staff of caregivers in an environment designed for comfort and security. Whether your loved one needs rehabilitative care, or a safe place to enjoy their senior years, our retirement community is one of the best you will find.