Caregivers: There’s a New App in Town!

September 27, 2013
Caregivers can download a free app that addressses Alzheimer's and dementia behaviors

Caregivers can download a free app that addresses Alzheimer’s and dementia behaviors

The challenges of responding to the ever-changing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and coping with dementia can sometimes be overwhelming for home caregivers.  There’s a new smart phone application that is designed to help family caregivers recognize and respond to various dementia-related situations and triggers as they arise.

The free app, “Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias Daily Helper” was developed as a support tool for the book, “Confidence to Care”.

Smart phone users can access helpful tips, caregiving support, and resources for additional assistance.  For instance, “What to do about Hallucinations and Fears at Night” is one the queries on the application.  A few suggestions from the app include:

  • Don’t try to argue with your loved one if they are saying they see things at night.
  • Accept that these are real fears for your loved one.
  • Perhaps when they go to bed, make a show of locking windows and doors.
  • Try a night light.
  • Help them get tucked in and let them know everything’s bolted for the night.
  • If they do cry out at night, provide reassurance.

Also, the application reminds the caregiver that this period of fearfulness will pass at some time.  Additionally, other resources are offered for more in-depth research.

Other tips include activities to share while visiting your loved one at an assisted living facility such as bringing a small laundry basket with towels to fold while sharing the visit.  Or, the suggestion to bring silk flowers and a plastic vase for arranging and re-arranging during the visit.

Obviously the application doesn’t attempt to be the final solution to all the woes of a family caregiver.  However, the prompts are meant to provide options, open doors to an alternative problem-solving method, and offer comfort that other care providers have been down a similar path.  Additionally, the prompts provide suggestions and ideas when tried-and-true solutions may no longer soothe an Alzheimer’s patient during a period of unrest or agitation.

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