Combatting Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Aging with Technology
Technology is advancing faster than many of us could have ever imagined. Self-driving cars and virtual reality goggles have adapted from science-fiction to reality right in front of our eyes. These rapid changes may intimidate some seniors, as new technology can sometimes feel too difficult and confusing to comprehend.
This fear unfortunately prevents many seniors from experiencing the benefits of the technological revolution. As a family caregiver, it is important to encourage your elderly loved ones to embrace these new technologies, particularly seniors that are living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Recent studies have shown that tablet computers can be a practical tool for cultivating memory stimulation and improving cognitive function in memory-care patients.
A Place for Mom has compiled a list of 9 reasons tablets and iPads are becoming useful devices for enhancing the lives of seniors.
- They are lightweight and share many similarities with books, allowing them to be easily carried anywhere.
- Seniors unable to express themselves are provided with a new means of communication that elicits exciting interaction.
- Each device can house a massive library of music and photos that can ultimately serve as positive memory triggers.
- iPads and tablets bridge the gap between the older and younger generations. With the availability of programs such as Skype, seniors are afforded the emotional and physical benefits of frequent contact with children and grandchildren.
- Downloaded Photos and emails from family members quickly become prized possessions.
- A seemingly endless list of applications, that includes games, puzzles and social media platforms, encourages socialization with family members or other residents of an assisted living facility.
- Some applications even use animated figures performing daily activities to encourage mobility. Even though some seniors may be unable to physically complete each action, you will often find that they can mimic the behaviors.
- By monitoring your elderly loved one’s daily habits and movements, iPads and tablets can provide reminders (e.g. taking pills) or automatic processes (e.g. turning the thermostat down while they are sleeping).
- Elderly loved ones are encouraged to showcase their creativity by creating simple graphics and pictures.
Technology offers more than just cognitive stimulation. It encourages seniors to be mentally active and physically engaged while providing an opportunity to remain connected to the world outside of their home or assisted living facility.
The benefits of new technologies are not limited to solely patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and should be embraced by all seniors. Senior Net, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of seniors through technological education, has even compiled 10 must-have technologies for seniors. While Tablets and iPads lead the list, other highlights include health tracking software and wireless home monitoring, all of which can ultimately improve the lives of your elderly loved ones.
The Huffington Post has also provided a list of available resources for those requiring assistance in educating elderly loved ones on new technology. Many communities offer local workshops and classes, and organizations such as the aforementioned Senior Net and OASIS Connections were developed to aid the transition of seniors into the technological era.
It has become increasingly important to keep your elderly loved ones engaged in the evolving landscape of technology. With patience and perseverance from family caregivers, even timid seniors can experience the immense benefits of the technological revolution.
While much of this discussion has focused on improving the cognitive functions of your elderly loved ones, it is important to not lose sight of the enhancements to physical ability that can be provided by new technology. For example, Alzheimer’s and Dementia may also impact a senior’s mobility. For these patients, or any senior experiencing reduced range of motion, Stannah offers some of the most technologically advanced and highly-regarded stair lifts on the market. With a Stannah Stairlift you can be sure that your elderly loved ones are able to safely and independently navigate their homes.
For more information, please click the “Our Stairlifts” tab above.