How can smart home technology help people with dementia stay in their own homes?
In the UK today, approximately 800,000 people have the illness generically known as dementia and by 2021 it is estimated there will be over 1 million people with dementia. In 30 years it is likely that one in every three people over 65 will receive a diagnosis of dementia, and even now, dealing with dementia currently costs the UK over £23 billion a year. (Source: Altzheimer’s Society, June 2012).
Around 40% of dementia suffers are in residential care homes or geriatric hospital beds (it is estimated that more than 30% of hospital beds in geriatric wards are occupied by people with dementia). But that leaves 60% remaining at home, either with spouses or family caring for them.
It’s worth pointing out that we are not just talking about older people. Younger people with dementia (e.g. those with Down’s syndrome) also need care, monitoring and technology that can help improve quality of life and offer some increased independence.
Assistive Technology – the term given to any device which assists a person in retaining or improving their independence, safety, security and dignity – comes in many forms, from simple pendants to a fully automated home with sensors, alerts, automation and monitoring. Audio7 is uniquely placed to provide solutions that can offer further independence to altzheimer’s sufferers, as well as supporting the care process given by family and loved ones, having been installing systems that automate, integrate and alert into homes throughout London and Surrey since 2003.
But don’t panic, it doesn’t need to cost huge sums, in fact it can be less than a few months of homecare visits.
Safety measures and alerts
Audio7 are able to design assistive technology systems that can send you email alerts letting you know when your loved one is up and about in the morning, when they leave the house and when they return. Sensors on the front door can be set to play audio messages recorded by you to remind them to take a coat, keys and phone when the door is opened.
Water sensors can be fitted to detect the possibility of flooding from a bath or sink that has been left running. Remote access can be given to carers so that they can access the home’s appliances to make sure cookers aren’t left on, or can only be turned on at certain time for a maximum length of time.
All of these simple measures are designed to complement, not substitute your own care, but can you carers peace of mind while they are absent that the person they look after is safe. But perhaps what is more important is that it allows a sufferer to stay in a home that they may have spent most of their lives living in. Spending time in familiar suroundings can be so important to anyone with cognitive impairment, our systems are designed to allow as much independence and dignity as is appropriate.
Call us today for a consultation.