Innovations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
With Alzheimer’s and dementia on the rise, many companies and organizations have invested in research and development for new concepts, products and techniques to help those who are diagnosed with this disease. There are even many services dedicated to supporting individuals living with the disease—for example, more than 400 Bayshore caregivers are trained and certified to provide quality home care services to individuals diagnosed with dementia. From cutting edge technology to progressive lifestyle attitudes, here are a few notable products and concepts that could soon become a regular part of everyday life for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Canadian author Rachel Thompson found that her grandmothers, who had been diagnosed with dementia, could still find joy in reading, but they didn’t enjoy having to read children’s books. Although the simplified storylines were easy to follow, children’s books are not interesting to adults. Thompson wanted to create a new genre of specialized books, one aimed specifically at aging adults living with dementia. Marlena Books is written in a way to re-introduce characters and plotlines throughout the stories. Combined with beautiful abstract artwork, illustrated by Canadians with dementia, Marlena Books is a Canadian original to be proud of.
Imagine a place where seniors diagnosed with dementia live together in a safe community, share responsibilities, and support each other every day. In the Netherlands, a place like this exists – it’s called the Hogeweyk Dementia Village. Residents live in a specially designed village with 23 houses with access to resources and care, all while sharing duties and building a close-knit neighbourhood. They manage their own day-to-day activities such as doing laundry, getting groceries, or walking through the park with support from staff as needed. The Hogeweyk Dementia Village was created for seniors with dementia to enjoy a sense of freedom and community.
One of the many concerns for a caregiver is that their loved one may be exit-seeking and run the risk of wandering. SafeTracks GPS Canada, a leader in personal locator devices, has created cutting edge insoles with a GPS tracking technology. Caregivers can have peace of mind knowing exactly where their loved one is at all times. SafeTracks Insoles and other devices can even detect when the wearer of this device has fallen, and allow them to communicate with family or caregivers. This technology is a step in the right direction.
Inspired by his grandfather, inventor Kenneth Shinozuka created a wearable technology that would alert him when his grandfather got out of bed at night. In his compelling TedTalk, Shinozuka addresses the fact that 60% of people with dementia run the risk of wandering. Syncing to a mobile phone, this bed exit alarm device developed by Shinozuka contains sensors that sound an alarm when the wearer moves upright during the night. It’s a unique device that helps you monitor your loved one with dementia.
Today, seniors living with Alzheimer’s and dementia have access to progressive resources and wearable technologies to improve their quality of life. These devices are definitely helpful, but they cannot compare to the kind of support that families, friends, and caregivers provide: conversation, companionship, and comfort.
Learn more about Bayshore’s dementia care services by