8 Tools Every Dementia Caregiver Should Have!

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but having the right tools can make the all the difference. As a dedicated dementia caregiver, I use certain tools to help me support Mum.

I think arming yourself with practical and technological tools can enhance the quality of care you provide. Here’s a list of those I think can help, so read on for 8 tools every dementia caregiver should have!

Medication Management Apps

Keeping track of medications is crucial in dementia care. Using medication management apps like Medisafe to set reminders, track doses, and maintain a comprehensive medication schedule. They can be useful for someone with dementia to manage alone or for sharing as a family to manage medications.

Safety Alarms, Mats, Fall and Door Sensors

Loved ones with dementia may wander, posing a risk to their safety. Install safety alarms, safety mats like Mat on Guard and door sensors to be alerted when doors are opened or if your loved one is moving around during odd hours, getting out of bed late at night to ensure their safety and your peace of mind.

Some security cameras also have zoned areas that can show when someone crosses an area you marked.  You can also get fall sensors or personal sensors that can be worn as pendants.

Lighting – Smart & Motion Sensor

One of the best ways to avoid falls is to ensure adequate lighting is in the home. I know from experience that mum needs bright lights to see objects around her. We started with using motion sensor night lights when mum was able to walk to illuminate her room and the hallway to the bathroom. These really helped with improving confusion for mum when she first woke up and also guided her to the right spot to use the bathroom.

Since then we’ve introduced a sunrise clock to gradually wake mum slowly in the morning so that she knows it’s time to get up, but also because we have carers, it can be extremely disorientating to be woken up by strangers first thing in the morning. So I go in first every morning just when the sunrise clock has reached its peak to welcome her to the new day.

Lastly, we installed SMART lights around the home. We have a smart light in the bedroom. You can buy various types of smart lights bulbs, or smart light systems, like Philips Hue to help illuminate the home and improve safety for your loved one!

Digital Calendars, Clocks and Reminder Systems

Help your loved one stay organized by using digital clocks like Robin Talking Clock with Day & Date, digital calendars and reminder systems.

Google Calendar or apps like Remember The Milk can assist in scheduling appointments, daily activities, and important events, reducing confusion and anxiety. There are so many to do lists apps out there, but why not keep it simple & just use Google Tasks or Microsoft To Do?

Memory Aids and Cognitive Stimulating Apps

Enhance cognitive function with memory aids and stimulating apps designed for those with dementia. Apps like Lumosity or Mindmaze offer games and exercises that can help maintain cognitive abilities and mental engagement.

Or go low tech for memory aids and create checklists, large visual calendar displays, put notes in prominent spots around the house, or using a memory book with important names/dates/events that can prompt recall.

Communication Apps

As verbal communication may become challenging, consider using notice boards, wipe boards, picture dictionaries, or communication apps like TouchChat or LAMP Words For Life. These apps provide alternative communication methods, aiding in maintaining a connection with your loved one.

But remember, taking time, listening actively, can also help in communicating & understanding what’s being expressed by a loved one.

Related: Technology Aids for Communication with Dementia

Comfortable and Adaptive Clothing

Dressing can be a struggle for those living with dementia. Simplify the process with adaptive clothing designed for comfort and ease of use. Clothing with Velcro closures, elastic waistbands, and soft fabrics can make dressing and undressing more manageable. You can try stores like The Able Label or AdaptaWear etc or make your own. I made a velcro opening dress for mum to put in her emergency hospital bag, so she doesn’t have to wear those horrible revealing gowns.

Related:Everything You Need in a Dementia Hospital Emergency Go Bag!

Monitors & Cameras

Install monitoring cameras in common areas to keep an eye on your loved one remotely. I use a baby cam at night, and Amazon Echo Show during the day so I can check in and communicate with mum when I’m upstairs cleaning etc. This allows you to monitor their well-being without being intrusive and ensuring they are safe especially if you’re a lone caregiver. 

Be aware of privacy issues and ensure that usage is agreed to before installing.

Parting Thoughts

Being a dementia caregiver requires patience, understanding, and the right tools. These 8 tools outlined can help you to provide the best possible care for your loved one. By adding in some of these tools into your caregiving routine, you can hopefully create a safer and more supportive environment for both you and your loved one living with dementia.

Let me know what tools you use to help you in your dementia caregiving journey.

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