Early-stage Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect one person- it can impact a whole family. Suddenly, family members are launched into an unfamiliar role and have to cope with their new situation. Thankfully, in the early stages, there is still time to plan for the future with loved ones. Here are some tips from Alzheimer’s Family Center’s social worker team for when you’re coping with your new role as a caregiver.
In 2018, 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. There’s an app for food delivery, address books, and for even finding your car in a crowded parking lot. The smartphone is the Swiss Army Knife of modern life and shows no signs of stopping.
There is a multitude of programs that can help patients with various health conditions. Dementia is no exception. At first, a person with dementia may have trouble understanding modern technology, but tablets and iPhones are designed to be an easy experience. With just a touchscreen, people with dementia will be able to interact with different activities easily. Keeping them occupied and using their minds are two ways of keeping them focused. Here are some 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.
By harnessing the power of technology, apps can help some dementia patients connect with old memories and even make new ones.