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At whatever stage of the dementia journey, you are, there are lots of items and devices that can make a real difference to your life.
All are designed to help with remembering important everyday tasks or relieving stress and anxiety.
There are various specialist clocks available to help with memory problems. Digital models that very clearly display the day of the week, as well as the time and date to help with orientation.
Some have automatic dimmers which are particularly good for those with partial sight or low vision.
Some digital clocks can even be programmed to display a message at a specific time of day, such as ‘Remember to take your pills.
Cooker alarms are good for people who are easily distracted or forgetful and who could leave the cooker turned on and unattended, risking a fire. Some sound an alarm when the oven temperature rises to a dangerous heat, preventing a fire igniting.
Digital memo reminders that sense movement, so when placed at the front door: will say ‘Mum, don’t forget your keys.’ You can also use this kind of gadget to record a short message to remind you of the day’s tasks.
There are special tablet computers that can display reminders, messages, a calendar, or a digital clock, and can also be used for video calls.
Pill dispensers that can be laid out by the week, or some up to four weeks’ medication at a time. Some sound an alert when you’re due to take a dose, stopping when you remove the tablets. And some can even send a text message to family members or a carer if you miss a dose (but this will involve a monthly fee).
You can get locator devices to attach to everyday items that you are prone to losing, such as keys, reading glasses or your wallet. A remote control with a transmitter will then track down any of these items that you mislay by activating an audible alarm from the sensor that’s attached to the item.
GPS-enabled personal alarms that can be worn as a pendant or a brooch. They can be activated to raise the alarm if you get lost or need help and can also be used to track someone who is lost.
Weighted blankets can be good for people who struggle to sleep because of anxiety and restlessness. A weighted blanket can help to reduce this anxiety and make it easier to fall asleep again.
A motion sensor light works by turning on a light when somebody walks past it or gets out of bed, so that they are not walking around in the dark, which could lead to a fall.
Music is good for wellbeing and mood and is particularly good for people living with dementia as it can evoke memories. M4D Radio is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year playing music that evokes memories. You could link it to Alexa and just ask Alexa to play M4D Radio.
Fiddle muffs are tactile multi-sensory comforters that help to calm agitated hands and minds, they are a great stress reliever and can also help improve circulation by exercising hands and fingers.
Companion Pets can help to relieve stress and provide comfort, especially if your loved one is used to having a pet around the house.
Memory Boxes can stimulate enjoyable memories. Can help to reduce agitation, and serve as a communication tool, by stimulating conversion.
History books, photo albums, puzzle books and jigsaw puzzles are all good for stimulating the mind and helping to reduce anxiety.
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