Dementia and Cognition: Tech Solutions

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Hear this discussion from our Longevity Explorers — circles of older adults who meet monthly to explore solutions to the challenges that come with aging.

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from: Longevity Explorers | Saratoga Retirement Community

Discussion Summary

The Saratoga group is asked to tell about cognition challenges of aging they have observed that need fixing and to suggest some possible solutions.

 

Typical Problems

  • Wandering, getting lost
  • Repetitive questions or statements due to memory loss
  • Forgetfulness around the home:
    • Kitchen - stovetop left on, refrigerator door left open, spoiled food in fridges
    • Bath - overflowing running water, scalding hazard, soap drops,  bath slips and falls, medicine cabinet management
    • Fidgeting with the thermostat
    • Other - soiled clothing, unopened mail
  • Lack of date and time awareness
  • TV remotes too complicated, difficult to use with arthritic hands

 

Suggested Solutions

  • Large numeral day/date clock, 'speaking' clock
  • GPS in cap, shoes or weaarable; or Wanderguard alerts at exits
  • Grandpad simplified Internet/cellular-connected device
  • Electronic music keyboard to play familiar tunes
  • Induction cooktop on stove or burner shutoff timer switch; Hot surface indicator light
  • Smart fridge: In/Out scans of food; a door-open warning beep 
  • Water Mixing valves to prevent scalding 
  • Water shut-off to prevent overflow/flooding
  • Signs or symbols on doors to rooms and/or appliances - to assist in wayfinding
  • Motion detector light switches
  • Anti-elopement keypad lock
  • Voice-operated TV remotes - when too complicated for those with difficulty with sequencing or dexterity

 

Recommended Technique: 'A Dignified Approach' 

During summary comments, group members highly recommend the works of author David Troxel, who suggests that when facing someone who asks repeated questions or makes statements as though for the first time, the best approach is to "meet them in their world." David has co-authored six influential books (most notably, The Best Friends™ Approach to Dementia Care) relating to dementia care as well as staff development and training. See further down the page for a link to his book.

 

 

 

 

 

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Key words: 
cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's, dementia care, dementia care training