Adaptive Devices for Persons with Dementia
Adaptive Devices for Persons with Dementia

Adaptive Devices for Persons with Dementia

It can be relatively difficult to find adaptive devices to suit the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

When looking for the best device it's important to think about devices that can improve the quality of life, provide comfort, and minimize struggles in your daily routines. Fortunately, the experts at the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (LIAF) are here to help! LIAF has composed a list of our favorite and most popular adaptive devices below.

Adaptive Devices for Persons with Early or Mild Stage Dementia

Digital Clock with Time, Day and Date Stamp

Individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can at times be confused or disoriented and easily lose track of time. A clock with these features is useful in helping to keep track of time and helps to remind when you should do certain tasks—like when to take medication. Some versions of these clocks can even read morning or night.

Medication Dispenser

Speaking of taking medication! A medication dispenser can be a quite savvy and practical adaptive device. These are available with various features including ones that are semi-interactive. Many medication dispensers are programmable and have the ability to verbally announce when it's time to take the next dose of medication.

Some will even dispense the prescribed dose at a scheduled time and can be programmed to send an alert if a medication dose is missed. This can help keep track of missed doses and provide necessary support while still promoting independence.

iPod or MP3 Player

Who doesn't enjoy a playlist of their favorite songs? This can be an incredible and timeless adaptive device. Having trouble thinking of music your loved one will enjoy? LIAF’s Music & Memory Program can help! Our unique program delivers personalized music to seniors to help bolster their quality of life.

Music is therapy for the soul! It has a way of creating a feeling of joy and nostalgia and can help relieve stress. Individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias can listen to their favorite tunes of yesteryear while relaxing and enjoying the memories each song brings. Just download the songs on an iPod or other music device, and throw on comfortable headphones!

Adult Coloring Book

Individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias can easily get bored and have periods of anxiety, needing re-direction throughout the day. Keeping engaged with appropriate brain-sharpening activities could be a great tool.  

An adult coloring book is an activity that can be used at home to help relax and eliminate anxiety. It provides a constructive way to pass time and helps keep stress levels low. Not to mention, coloring is a form of art therapy and can help the brain remain active.  

Digital Photo Albums/Digital Photo Frames

Take a trip down memory lane unassisted whenever needed! This adaptive device allows you to compile an album of cherished memories. Photos of family, friends and events can be downloaded on a USB memory drive and the digital album can present a slideshow of the pictures.

To help recollect memories, you can label each photo (e.g., "Aunt Sarah" or "your granddaughter Chloe"). A short description can also help to jolt a person’s memory back to the event (e.g., "Family vacation in Hawaii, 1989).

Adaptive Devices for Persons with Middle or Late Stage Dementia

Wheelchair Pouch

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias can cause reduced mobility in the later stages, resulting in the need for a wheelchair to get around. During this stage, one can also tend to forget where items have been placed. To help keep things organized, a wheelchair pouch can be a functional adaptive device. Daily personal belongings or necessities can be stored in this pouch that provides various pockets and can be hassle-free access to items.

Therapy Doll, Robotic Animal, or Stuffed Animal

Help improve the emotional and psychological well-being of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias by utilizing a robotic pet, doll or stuffed animal that is specially designed to provide therapeutic relief. It can be something like an interactive dog or cat that functions as a warm and fuzzy companion pet to hold. These adaptive devices are designed to give something the individual to hold, feel, nurture and interact with, and can be enjoyable and comforting for a diagnosed person.

GPS Tracking Device

Disorientation is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias particularly in the moderate-stage and  late-stage of dementia. Persons affected may regularly wander off, forget where they are or forget how to find their way back home. A GPS tracking system reduces the risk of a person getting lost and helps to always know location specifics.

These systems typically allow you to monitor in real time on a computer or phone application. The device can send alerts if someone leaves the house or passes a certain boundary line. A GPS monitoring device will allow you to provide the safety needed while offering an added sense of independence.

Vinyl or Cloth Door Murals

Door murals can camouflage the door, making it appear to be whatever picture is on the mural (i.e. a bookshelf, rather than an exit door). Often, wandering outside from the safety of home is simply a matter of taking advantage of an unsupervised opportunity. However, if a door is not so recognizable, the likelihood of opening that door is significantly reduced, if not eliminated. This can potentially avoid wandering and help provide safety.

Contact LIAF for More Adaptive Devices for Persons Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Purchasing adaptive devices for those affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias can be overwhelming. If you're having a hard time finding the best adaptive device, we encourage you to try our therapeutic, cutting-edge day programs located in Westbury, Long Island. All our programs feature dementia stage-appropriate activities to help better quality of life and are focused on what your loved one can do, happily and productively, not on what they can no longer do.

Contact the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation today and speak with one of our social workers who can lead you down the right path!

About the Author Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation

At the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (LIAF) our mission is to improve the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, and their caregivers. We actively work to achieve this mission through research-based programming for all stages of Alzheimer’s, Caregiver Support Groups, in-home respite solutions, transportation options, and additional services.

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Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease?