Alzheimer’s apps can help find the wanderer, Id the person with dementia, keep the time for those who have lost sense of time
Alzheimer’s apps help those with dementia stay safe. For the millions who have Alzheimer’s, their loved ones and caregivers, every day can present different obstacles. Yet while it may sometimes feel like it, you’re not alone; there are an estimated 5.2 million people in America fighting this cognitive disease. With Alzheimer’s, accomplishing everyday activities often requires a whole new approach. And Alzheimer’s apps can help.
For all the conveniences technology brings us, persons with Alzheimer and their support team stand to benefit as well. Mobile phone applications and wearable devices can now help to fight the effects of the disease, organize and manage medication and physician appointments, and, in some cases, even take steps to prevent the disease.
It’s all part of a rapidly expanding sub-section of the health industry striving to innovate the way we communicate with both our doctors and our bodies themselves.
There are a range of Alzheimer’s apps available on the market now.
Below are just a few:
Brain Map – As the official app of the Alzheimer’s Society this is a must have and is really a fascinating piece of technology even if you’re not using it for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. What the app does is allow you to upload a picture of yourself or someone else, and it superimposes a 3-D image of a brain over it. From there you can look at, examine, and study the different parts of the brain and learn what their functions are. The app also has a specific section on Alzheimer’s with lots of valuable and new information.
Clevermind – This app was created by Glenn Palumbo, who experienced great difficulty in finding the right resources to help his father after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He told Cult of Mac, “based on my personal experience with my father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 78, I realized there was a need for a comprehensive app that tailored to my father’s condition, so I decided that I would create one.” Palumbo developed an app specifically for seniors that engages them in games that boost cognitive abilities and is entertaining to boot.
MIND – Created by GE Healthcare along with a team of neurologists, MIND (Make an Impact on Neurological Disorders) is designed not only for those who have Alzheimer’s, but those with Parkinson’s or a history of a stroke that resulted in brain damage. What the app does is incorporate music, which has been shown to be beneficial to cognitive function, with art in a multi-sensory experience that encourages creativity as well as memory training.
tweri – Designed in collaboration with the Association of Relatives of Alzheimer’s, this is an app that gives caregivers what they crave most: peace of mind. What the app does, once downloaded onto the phone of a person with Alzheimer’s, is give them freedom and safety while keeping their loved ones and caretakers informed. Through the app a caretaker can set maximum distances and time limits for walks and/or drives.
Alerts are sounded when the patient has exceeded the maximum distance from their home or have been away from home longer than the time that was pre-established. Once the alert is sent, their GPS location is shown immediately. It also features an alert button that messages caretakers if your loved one is out on a walk or drive and becomes disoriented, lost, or just needs help.
While none of the aforementioned apps are by any means a suitable replacement for necessary medical attention and supervision, they serve as helpful tech tools for the Alzheimer’s care community. And the tech-savvy side of the medical world is only projected to grow from here.
Many health professionals envision a day, not far from now, when patients will able to seamlessly connect with their doctors and “share” their symptoms.
“Yet as the new wearables market produces more specialized care products we must not lose sight of the privacy issues that could arise if security is not properly integrated.” says Tim Cannon of HealthITJobs.com. “With a flood of new hardware, and software entrants to this growing space, the handling of sensitive health data must be done with great care.”
As the realms of healthcare and technology continue to merge, we can look forward to seeing better, safer, tech options to help those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers solve the everyday challenges of this disease.
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