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How Assistive Technology can help you if you are living with dementia

Assistive Technology (AT) are pieces of equipment or gadgets that support people (including those living with dementia) to be as independent as possible with daily tasks around the home e.g. taking medication, bathing, cooking or other tasks. Assistive Technology can be helpful for many people, but may be especially helpful if you, or your loved one are living with dementia.

AskSARA is a self-help website (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/asksara) which provides information, advice and guidance on gadgets and assistive technology. AskSARA can help you identify solutions/gadgets that may suit your specific requirements by answering some multiple-choice questions about areas where you may benefit from some extra support for your health, around your home, and with daily activities. For example if you need help remembering to take medication, it might suggest an automatic pill dispenser or a digital reminder clock; if you need help with staying hydrated or have mobility difficulties as a result of a health condition, AskSARA may suggest the use of a special ‘hand steady’ mug, a falls detector ‘watch’, or a personal alarm. This could help you to stay well in your own home and reduce how much you need to rely on friends, family and professional carers. When you have answered the questions on the AskSARA website, you will receive a personalised report at the end with ideas of solutions that could help you.

Examples of gadgets that might make life a little easier around the home. Many of these can be found on AskSARA for you to purchase, however other websites are available (please note that the pictures below are not taken from AskSARA, and so, might not be a specific suggestion from AskSARA).

Flood prevention devices

These come in different sizes for baths, basins or sinks. If the taps are left running, the device has a pressure sensor which will open the plug to drain the bath, basin or sink to prevent flooding.

floodpreventiondevices

Telephones

You can buy a telephone with large buttons or with pictures of key contacts that can be pressed to call the person.

telephones

MemRabel day clock

The MemRabel 2 is a simple and clear day clock which displays the time and date, with the added benefit of being able to set reminders for certain times of the day, week, month or year. The device can be very helpful as it can be programmed with reminders from a familiar face or voice who pass on instructions to a person with dementia. This can really help people with dementia to remember to eat, drink, take medication or go to bed etc and can also relieve the stress that forgetfulness can bring.

dayclocks

Medication Dispensers

Medication dispensers can be set to sound an alarm to prompt you when to take your medication. When the alarm sounds the device will also dispense the correct medication and dose for the set time by releasing or opening a small compartment. As the unit only dispenses the tablets at the required time the risk of taking a repeat dose may be reduced. The device recognises when the pill(s) has been removed from the dispenser and the alarm stops.

meddispenders

Telecare

Telecare is a combination of equipment and services that can support you to live safely and independently in your own home. The equipment can sense risks such as smoke, floods and gas, can remind you to take your medication and even call for help if you fall. You can access a telecare, or community alarm service through your local district and borough council: (if you have an electronic version of this leaflet and click on the blue text it will take you to the direct webpage). Otherwise, just go to the Councils main webpage and search for ‘Telecare’.

For more information about Assistive Technology, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/assistivetechnology

 

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Virtual Singing Workshops

At this very difficult time when opportunities to enjoy face-to-face activities are limited, Armonico Consort have developed a catalogue of specialised virtual singing workshops to help combat isolation for those living with Dementia. It is well-known that singing can help improve physical and mental well-being and their pre-recorded videos can be enjoyed at leisure, individually or in groups (social distancing guidelines should be followed).

Specialised sessions for those living with Dementia include well known classics from the music hall and wartime eras as well as popular songs from stage and screen. These sessions have a sing-a-long style. https://youtu.be/wlHm0wsxDkc

Individuals can sign up to the service by completing a very simple online form which can be found at the following link: https://forms.gle/LfyxNYGnrPDThZZg6

Once you are signed up, you will be sent the full playlist for the catalogue of your choice. Any queries should be directed to Sarah Riddell at voicesquad@armonico.org.uk or 07587 700740.

 

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