15 August 2016

How emerging technology assists people living with Dementia

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There are currently more than 353,800 Australians living with dementia and this number is expected to increase to 400,000 in less than 5 years.

3 in 10 people over 85 and 1 in 10 people over 65 live with dementia. This is an alarming and increasing statistic.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and there is currently no cure. It is estimated that 1.2 million people are involved with caring for someone living with dementia.

Living in today’s technological world, there is now technology to help carers support and help those living with dementia.

Here is some of the technology both the person living with dementia and the carers can use to help them in their everyday lives:

The Sound and Movement Unit

This technology is designed similar to a baby monitor where it alerts the carer about activity in a particular room. This technology enables to carer to continue with their activities around the house whilst maintaining contact with the person living with dementia. It also allows for those living with dementia to retain their independence and helps provide the carer a peace of mind.

Personal Emergency Response Alarms

This lightweight and waterproof technology is usually worn around the patient’s neck or wrist. In the case where the patient requires assistance or falls, they can press the button, which will activate their speaker unit, connecting them to a 24 hour contact centre.

Telecare

This technology is used to provide assistance from a distance. This device is usually monitored from a contact centre and can monitor a person’s health status such as a fall or for existing health conditions. It can also monitor whether household appliances have been left on.

Mobile Phones

Today’s mobile phones provide many applications for both the carer and the person living with dementia. Features can vary from models and can be both simple and complex, including bigger buttons, one-touch systems, calendars and reminders, recording and playback options. A very useful function includes GPS tracking, in the case where a patient is lost, the mobile phone will help provide real-time location of the person, helping them to be located.

Medication Management 

Medication management can range from simply putting the days of the week on pill containers, including sections for morning, noon and night. New technology comes with automated pill dispensers which will beep and open at set times. Other medication reminders include vibration on watches and this will help busy carers amidst their busy daily lives.


Google Glass

The Google Glass is a new technology that people can wear like a pair of glasses. It can take pictures, gives directions and translates languages. These pair of glasses serves as good reminders for people living with dementia as it can prompt them on what they need to do, where they are going and provide directions on how to get there.

This new technology gives senior people the ability to be in control of their lives and be independent. The glasses also provide facial recognition with connections to names and relationships and wearers would be cued on who is standing in front of them. The glasses can also act as a GPS for carers to locate the person’s whereabouts. 

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable pets; a cat and a dog. 

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