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Tools and aids to help at home

Dementia can make daily life more difficult however there are tools, aids and technology that make it easier to complete everyday tasks. They can help the person with dementia to:

– stay safe at home
– stay independent and live at home for longer
– reduce stress associated with everyday living

Some tools and aids are cheap and simple. Some are more expensive and high-tech. Choose the ones that offer the most help, within the budget allocated.

Here are some of the most helpful tools, aids and technology when it comes to living at home with dementia:

Medication reminders and dispensers

These devices can help with the correct administering of medication:

– pill (dosette) boxes that have separate flip-top compartments labelled with the time or day.
– automatic pill dispensers that make a sound or provide a visual prompt when it’s time to take medication.
– mobile apps that help manage medications.
– webster-paks, which package medications together based on the time and day that they need to be taken. These are available from pharmacies.

Date and time tools

Calendars and reminders can help to keep track of time and tasks. They include:

– clocks that show the date, day and time.
– clocks that show whether it’s day or night.
– reminders that can be set on a phone, tablet or computer.
– a whiteboard or daily planner, which can be used to list important tasks or appointments.

Item finders

These aids can help to identify or find important items:

– signs, photos and visual aids to label different rooms, or show what’s in drawers and cupboards.
– bluetooth tags: which can be attached to things and tracked via a mobile app if they go missing. – item finders: which can be attached to important items like keys. If an item goes missing simply push a button on the accompanying remote.
– digital photo books: for storing photos with audio captions. These captions can be easily played back as a reminder of who or what is in the photo.

Safety devices

Supportive aids can help you to stay safe at home. They include:

– electrical safety switches and gas leak detectors.
– shut off devices that turn off a stove’s electricity or gas if it’s left on too long.
– safety irons, which turn themselves off if they’re left on too long.
– flood detectors or plugs, which sound an alarm if a tap is left running. They can also open automatically when the water reaches a certain point.
– door and window sensors or monitors.
– fall detector alarms.
– motion sensor lights and automatic night lights.
– smart home automation systems, which pre-program heating, cooling, lighting and other technology.

Communication tools

– It can often become more difficult to communicate with others when you have dementia. Communication cards and the CommunicAid Kit use illustrations and simple commands to help communicate effectively and express needs.

Sensory aids

– Sensory aids can range from therapy dolls and robot pets to sensory cushions, which have different textures to feel/play with.
– If you feel overstimulated and overwhelmed, noise-cancelling headphones or weighted blankets can help.

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