How can technology support people living with dementia?

Sep 27, 2023

Living with dementia has a significant impact on people experiencing the condition both physically and emotionally, as well as on those around them. Tracey Hipkiss, Clinical Applications Specialist, shares information on how technology can help people living with dementia and those who care for them.

Community alarms and telecare sensors

There are a huge range of technology solutions that can support people living with dementia. For example, community alarms can provide support at home and these are connected to a variety of products, such as pendants, that can be activated if the wearer requires assistance. The technology provides reassurance that help can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Such systems are adaptable for a range of living environments, from individual private dwellings to sheltered housing, extra care and residential care.

For people living with dementia, other options can be installed in their home to make life easier. For example, unobtrusive sensors can effectively monitor for events such as falls, fires or floods. In the event of an emergency, these can be activated and will automatically raise an alert with a carer if present, or a specialist monitoring centre which will then contact the right person, for example a neighbour, family member or the emergency services.

Supporting good sleep

People with dementia can often experience issues with sleep, with different types leading to different sleep problems. Not only can this severely impact health and wellbeing, but it can also affect the people caring for them as they may want to check on them throughout the night.

Technology can provide respite for everyone. Bed occupancy sensors can raise an alert if someone leaves their bed during the night and doesn’t return after a short time. This means that anyone caring for someone living with dementia won’t have to disturb them throughout the night and will themselves sleep better as they’ll be alerted if something happens.

See how bed  sensors work in our recent video


Finding freedom

Technology can offer more freedom to caregivers and people living with dementia. When it comes to caregivers, it can give opportunities to leave the house for short periods of time, safe in the knowledge that the technology at home will flag if there’s an issue. This can improve their quality of life and reduce stress as they find more freedom.

Freedom is equally important for people living with dementia so that they can maintain familiar habits outside the home and remain a part of their community. This may make them less likely to feel lonely and also support their mobility which can help to reduce the likelihood of a fall.

Portable solutions, such as Tunstall GO, include GPS locator technology, fall detection and an SOS button so that help can be requested and given even if the person is outside their house. This is important, for example, if the person living with dementia leaves the house and can’t remember how to get home.

Providing a rapid response

A quick response to events such as a fall or stroke is crucial. The quicker that help can be given, the more likely the individual is to recover and keep up their independence. This will also allow them to stay at home for as long as possible.

Technology can play a key role in supporting this. Pressing a button on a wearable device, or receiving an automatic alert from technology such as a fall detector, can give caregivers, monitoring centres and the emergency services the notice they need to provide help quickly and efficiently.

It’s also important to introduce this technology as early as possible, particularly for people living with dementia so that they have the time they need to get used to it and learn how to use it.

Find out more about technology and how it can support people living with dementia

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