They often refer to caring for someone with dementia as “the long, sad goodbye.” The reason being is that you are slowly losing pieces of your loved one as the disease progresses. It can be a very challenging experience and one that can take a lot out of you the caregivers. Here are a few tips to help you manage your grief while saying goodbye.
In 2019, technology has become so advanced that it’s become a daily part of our lives. The phrase “there’s an app for that” rings true in many regards.
A multitude of programs can help patients with various health conditions. And dementia is no exception..
Here are 7 apps that people with dementia can benefit from:
My Reef 3D
Patients with advanced dementia will especially enjoy My Reef 3D. This animated app allows patients to create their aquarium with a variety of colorful fish and aquatic plants. Users can take part in feeding and taking care of their virtual pets, or they can simply play around with them. The touchscreen is enabled so that users can “poke” the tank and see the fish react.
Greymatters: Reaching Beyond Dementia
Greymatters was inspired by creator Jenny Rozbruch’s late grandmother Freida, who had vascular dementia. It’s like a portable scrapbook that can contain pictures, music, and games to preserve memories and reach out to non-communicating patients. Caregivers can create a personalized storybook full of photos accompanied by text or voice narration to help evoke memories.
Caregivers and their loved ones can also reflect on pop culture back in the day. The app comes with universal content from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, referencing big musicians like Frank Sinatra.
Let’s Create! Pottery
Create Pottery is a fun experience for dementia patients who still have a creative streak in them. The user throws clay onto a virtual pottery wheel and utilizes his/her artistic talents. The sky’s the limit on the shapes your loved one could create. It’s a very therapeutic activity that relieves stress and helps boost self-confidence.
Rekindle your loved one’s passion for gardening with the Flower Garden App! The app is simple and soothing, filled with gentle sounds and beautiful flowers to plant. Users can plant a plethora of seeds and watch them grow over time. Some flowers will bloom right away, while others will require a little bit more attention. The Flower Garden App takes all the responsibilities of gardening and turns it into a relaxing experience.
Founded by three former caregivers, MindMate is one of the leading apps for healthy aging. Its multi-faceted app allows for caregivers and their loved ones to participate in a variety of activities together. For patients with dementia, it features mental and physical workouts, such as puzzles and simple stretches, as well as nutritional tips inspired by the MIND Diet.
MindMate also features tools to help caregivers interact with their loved ones; Its entertainment section features classic hits from different eras to help stir emotional responses. There is also a diary section for caregivers to help record their loved one’s memories to share with family and friends.
Designed for caregivers, family members, and emergency personnel, Dementia Emergency provides guidance how to communicate with dementia patients in emergency situations. Dignity & Dementia, the resource center that launched Dementia Emergency, goes to great care in making sure that advice for even the rarest of situations are available.
Luminosity’s “Brain Training” app has been so popular that it has been used in cognitive functioning studies. Its research-based activities are specifically designed to challenge cognitive capabilities. The app has seven different types of activities to choose, each targeting a different ability. For example, users can test their memory, logical reasoning, speed, and other functions through specially-tailored games. The free version allows users to play three games a day, which supplies them with plenty of material to try out the app.
By harnessing the power of technology, apps can help a person connect with old memories and even make new ones.