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When you are taking care of someone with Dementia, it can be seemingly impossible to keep them independent. With such a devastating diagnosis, the temptation for us as family caregivers is to do everything for them. We believe this will make life easier on them, somehow preserving their slowly deteriorating brain.
Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect, preventing them the opportunity to independently perform certain tasks.
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My MIL seemed to always be confused about the time. Her brain no longer processes the cues we take for granted about what time of day it is. She’s always curious about the date because there are still some days that stick in her memory.
This clock is no fuss and easy to read. It clearly differentiates the time of day and allows my MIL a little more independence because instead of having to be reminded what day it is, she is able to see it. It’s also been helpful in keeping her from waking us up in the middle of the night asking if it’s breakfast time.
This dispenser comes with multiple tabs for daily, morning/evening, and morning/noon/evening dosages. You place the pills in the allotted compartment and lock it up. The timers are easy to set and have several tone options. When it’s time to take the pills, the dispenser rotates to the correct slot and the timer goes off. To turn off the timer, you have to empty the pills.
This awesome tool allows my MIL to take her medication at the appropriate times, prevents her from taking the wrong dosages, and also shows me when she’s missed a dose.
This is an amazing tool for mid-stage Dementia. Each pack comes with 15 picture cards. The images are familiar and will spark their own memories. On the back of each cards are descriptions and conversation starter questions for engagement.
I usually lay the cards out on the table while I’m doing chores or making a meal. It keeps my MIL entertained while I get my work done plus sparks some awesome memories and conversation for her.
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When we first moved in with my MIL she had a lot of trouble getting in and out of her bed. Our efforts to get her to stay in her bed or use the monitor we got her to call us were useless. We tried safety bars but she would crawl to the end of the bed and go around them.
Finally we found this safety handle that has worked beautifully. She’s able to lower herself into the bed, pull herself into a sitting position, and get out of the bed with minimal effort. It helps her steady herself when she stands and has eliminated the bed related falls.
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In the same way my MIL has trouble getting in and out of bed, so too she struggles with the car. Like me, she is a “shorty” and reaching for the inconveniently placed car handles is more trouble than it’s worth. My MIL is quite a bit heavier than me, so getting in and out of our minivan was a sight to behold.
This car handle helps her hoist herself into the seat and push her bottom over with very little help from me. It’s also helpful in getting out of the minivan and allows her something steadier to help gain her footing.
Related Post: Unexpected Symptoms of Dementia
This has got to be my favorite find of all time. My MIL loves listening to music but we were finding the MP3 players too complicated for her to use anymore. The name of this player says it all. It is so easy to use. You download their favorite music directly from your computer (as you would any external disc) and set the volume (located on the bottom of the player so it can’t be accidentally adjusted). To play the music, you just lift the lid.
One of the most frustrating things to my MIL is her TV remote. Admittedly, it was also quite frustrating to me to have to stop whatever I was doing to just change the program on the TV. This remote keeps it super simple. It’s easy to program and works with most TVs.
This is an awesome tool for Dementia. It tells the time, allows you to send and receive text messages and program certain numbers in for emergency phone calls.
The two features that I like the most about this watch are:
- Remote listening
This allows me to hear what’s going on around my MIL without transmitting any sound through the watch. It is particularly valuable when you use home care to keep a close ear on how things are going.
If my MIL were to wander off as Dementia patients are prone to do, this would help me find her. It’s also nice in that she feels like she has more freedom because I don’t feel like I have to keep her “tethered” to me.
My MIL was finding standing in the shower to be too tiresome and even frightening. She opted not to shower at all. We found this shower chair and it has been so helpful in giving her some confidence with bathing. It also gives me a lot of peace of mind because I’m able to walk away for short periods without worrying about her falling.
10. Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with Alexa
I cannot say enough about this camera system. The night vision works great so I don’t have to get out of bed when I hear wandering in the night. The 2-way audio is great in theory except my MIL doesn’t really recognize our voices. On my end, I can’t always hear the conversation but I can hear tone.
I’ve got multiple cameras set up over the house and it gives me a lot of assurance when I have to leave my MIL in someone else’s care while I run errands or take the kids to their activities.
Honorable Mention: Amazon Echo (Alexa)
This is an awesome tool for multigenerational families. There are hundreds of things Alexa can do! We primarily use it as a music player and encyclopedia. I’ve set up playlists in Amazon music that we play throughout the day. My MIL asks questions frequently. If I don’t know the answer or don’t have the time to go into the detail she wants me to, I just ask Alexa.
My MIL doesn’t usually remember how to use Alexa or exactly what this strange contraption on our table is but it’s no trouble for me to operate on her behalf, allowing me to get my work done while keeping my MIL (and kids!) involved and entertained.
Why These Products for Dementia Are Important
It can be a lot easier on us as a caregiver just to do these tasks for them or to not worry about finding activities and entertainment to keep them busy throughout the day. It takes less time to just do it ourselves rather than go through all the trouble of research and experiment trying to find what works for our elderly parent’s individual needs.
However, our primary focus as family caregivers is to provide our loved one with the best quality of life possible despite their disease and limitations.
Finding products that are easy for your elderly loved one with Dementia to use in their daily life is so important. It keeps their mind active, allows them to maintain some of their ever dwindling independence, and allows them the pleasure of performing simple tasks with minimal or no assistance.
Did you like this post? What products have you found to help your loved one with Dementia maintain their quality of life? Let me know in the comments below!
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