Q: My wife is an Alzheimer's patient. Is there anything that can help make her care easier and improve her quality of life? - Tom M., Lebanon, Indiana. Listens on 1370 AM WGCL.
A: I'm so glad you asked this question. Alzheimer's is a major challenge for so many people, and many of them are too overwhelmed to ask for help. But everyday technology is helping make the care of Alzheimer's patients more effective. Here are some excellent services that may help you out.
1. GPS SmartShoe
When a loved one wanders off, family members may scramble to put together a search party. One of the cheapest and easiest solutions is the GPS SmartSole. This shoe insert can both track a patient's location and send out intermittent alerts. The one drawback is that it requires people to actually put on their shoes. Luckily, there are lots of other devices that pinpoint locations, such as special wristwatches and bracelets.
2. Day Clock
One of the scariest aspects of Alzheimer's is how it affects a person's sense of time. As their condition worsens, folks may forget the day, season or even year. Day Clock was designed to clearly display the date and time, in penetrating black and white. The clock also uses several different alarm systems, helping patients remember meals and medications throughout the day.
This free app focuses on memory and mental activities. Many psychologists believe that stimulating activity helps Alzheimer's patients overcome its symptoms. MindMate was created with seniors in mind, providing games, puzzles and virtual companionship for people who may struggle remembering things. MindMate also suggests real-world tasks and the reminders, so that patients keep up with their regimens.
MindMate is a free app for Apple users, and plans are in the works to bring it to Android.