Living with memory loss is a reality for people of all ages, and is likely to affect every single one of us to a certain extent at some point in our lives. The reality can be difficult not only for the individual concerned, but also for friends and family around that person. Fortunately, there are a number of simple tools and devices which can be used to assist in daily tasks which make life just that little bit more comfortable, and removes the perennial frustration of a dysfunctional memory.
It’s no surprise that we begin here, as in this day and age, nobody is without their cell phone. In this case, your phone can be of invaluable help, and there are a number of apps which cater for this exact need. There are apps which allow you to create simple to-do lists (such as Wunderlist), while Evernote utilizes pictures for the same purpose, which can be incredibly useful depending on what part of the memory is affected. In the case of Evernote, you can take screengrabs and then set alarms which will bring up the screengrab at the decided time to allow you to remember the activity at hand. And there are even apps which caters for those who struggle remembering people: these can assist by bringing up photos of the individual along with a short bio to help you recall who they are and why you know them.
Fridge boards / Noticeboards
A fridge board, or simply an old-fashioned noticeboard works in the same way as the apps above, and can have the added advantage of being in a static place, unlike a cell phone, which can be easily misplaced. The disadvantage is that these types of reminder boards can require a lot of effort to set up, but having someone at hand that can assist in the initial process can lead to an effective memory aid system.
Another system from times past, but one which still adds value in the modern world. The best thing about sticky notes is that they are cheap, simple, and eminently disposable.
“The modern world is obsessed with tech, for good reason. But I always champion these simple-yet-effective tools: from labelling cupboards to leaving reminders on devices around the house, they have worked for years for good reason,” states Rosemary Jackson, a health writer at Brit student and Writemyx.
If you are familiar with the alarms that can be placed on your car keys to help you find them, such as those that respond when you whistle, then you are already familiar with these devices. It’s unsurprising to know that technology has advanced to such an extent that these devices can be applied to almost every conceivable object, and there are all manner of ways by which they can be activated: for example through voice recognition. These are great options for those who commonly misplace things, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?
Everyone is familiar with Alexa, but for those living with memory loss, these voice-activated software programs can be lifechanging. Just one of the almost limitless options is having an Alexa-activated TV which means to more searching for the remote control.
The concept here is a device which plays a pre-recorded message when you move to a certain location within your house. For example, as you approach the front door, the motion sensor can activate a message to remind you to check that the oven is turned off, or that the back door is locked. This is just another way in that modern technology can assist in day-to-day of those living with memory loss, and it is now extremely affordable too.
Another device that works for absolutely everybody. Most people rely on some sort of GPS equipment these days to find their way, but if you are somebody who is living with memory loss and can have difficultly remembering often-used routes, consistently using a GPS can be an invaluable method. Once again, your cell phone comes in useful here.
These Apps, such as IFTTT, can be set up to automatically create a reaction when you perform a certain action. An easy example would be to send an SMS to loved ones if you were to leave the house, for example. Once again this is a software that offers up the possibility of easing everyone’s life, not to mention those who struggle with memory-affected illness.
As illnesses such as dementia progress, normal day-to-day tasks can be infinitely more difficult. Using a normal cell phone can become challenging, so adapted phones which, among a plethora of changes, may have oversized digits, or pre-programmed numbers with images, can greatly assist the person in need.
Home monitoring devices
They may sound a little scary, but these devices can assist in simple tasks such as thermostat and light-switch control to make daily life just that little easier.
“Knowing a loved one is comfortable is vital for families, and these mass-market devices can greatly assist in improving home-living conditions,” adds Rachel Blau, a health blogger at Australia2write and Nextcoursework.
Web developer Micahel Dehoyos is usually found assisting organizations in their digital marketing approach. He is an editor at PHDKingdom and Academicbrits, and a regular contributor to the academic service at Origin writings.