Caring for a loved one who has dementia can be trying and heartbreaking at times. You want them to have a good quality of life, and that in itself can be exhausting. Keeping them occupied and using their minds is one way to help keep them focused.
Unfortunately, sometimes those afflicted with dementia have trouble understanding new forms of technology. Computers may confuse them, and using a mouse may be impossible. However, the invention of tablets and phones with touch screens can make a difference. The tactile surface and ease of use help give the patient something they can identify with. An iPad or iPhone iare excellent choices to help a loved one stay in touch with the world.
Below we've provided information on 9 different apps that have been proven to be helpful for people who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's.
1. Talking Tom Cat 2
In this game, you can talk to Talking Tom Cat and he will repeat it. He has an entertaining voice to keep you interested. Utilizing the tactile properties of the iPad, Tom can be poked or brushed. You can win game coins if you challenge him and play other mini games. He can be dressed in other outfits and functions like a virtual pet, holding your interest for hours.
2. My Reef 3D
Those who suffer from advanced dementia will find My Reef 3D fun and easy to use. The person can interact with fourteen different types of fish. Activities include stocking the aquarium with specific fish and fun things like tapping on the glass. This will, of course, annoy the fish, providing amusing interaction. There is also an option to just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the reef.
Many who suffer from dementia might miss parts of their lives that they loved doing but are no longer able to. FlowerGarden is an app that can bring back some of the past to a loved one. Garden lovers can grow a garden again that encompasses the whole process, from planting virtual seeds, keeping them watered until they have a full harvest. Being able to replicate an enjoyable activity is important to keep an Alzheimer's patient busy.
4. Let's Create! Pottery
Bringing an app that provides some out of the ordinary fun to a loved one's life is what the Let's Create! Pottery function provides. The user throws virtual clay onto the pottery wheel and then begins the creation of a variety of clay pots. Dragging your finger across the screen serves to smooth the sides of the pots, which come in several sizes. This is a fun app to play, especially for those seniors with a creative spark that hasn't died out.
The MindMate app is perhaps the ultimate in dementia apps. It is more than a tool, but is more like a friend. It is always there for the patient. It can help your loved one stay focused with activities like memory, problem solving and attention as well as working with their speed. It also provides entertainment through eight interactive games that are fun while providing learning materials for current events in medicine. Users can monitor their progress as well.
6. Lumosity Mobile
Cost: $79.99 / year
The Lumosity app features a combination of over 25 cognitive games that are aimed at "exercising" the brain. The games challenge memory and attention by engaging the user in common cognitive and neuropsychological tasks. While not cheap, this app is currently used by over 70 million people worldwide.
7. It's Done!
It's Done is essentially an app that provides a checklist for life's everyday critical tasks such as locking doors, feeding pets, taking medication, and turning off the stove. According to the developer, A.J. Lester & Associates, Inc., the It's Done app is "...ideal for those suffer with short-term memory loss due to brain injury, dementia, or other related medical conditions".
8. Alzheimer's Society's Talking Point Forum
The Alzheimer's Society's Talking Point Forum app is produced by the the Alzheimer's Society in the UK. The app is an online support and discussion forum and was created for anyone affected by dementia. It's a place where dementia patients and their loved ones can read others' experiences, ask for advice, share information, join in discussions, and - most of all - feel supported.
9. Spaced Retrieval Therapy - Memory Training for Dementia & Brain Injury
According to the developer, Tactus Therapy Solutions Ltd., "This Spaced Retrieval Therapy app uses the scientifically-proven method of spaced retrieval training to help people with dementia or other memory impairments to recall important information. Recalling an answer over multiplying intervals of time, such as 1 minute, 2 minutes, 8 minutes, and so on, helps to cement the information in memory".
Are you aware of any great apps for people who suffer from dementia that we've left out? If so, please share in the comments below!
This article was provided by The Manor on Marston Lake, an assisted living facility in Littleton, CO. The Manor on Marston Lake is located at 4800 Old S. Wadsworth Blvd, Littleton, CO 80123.