New apps which help people with dementia to reminisce about their life have been launched with the hope of transforming their care and quality of life.
The app, RemindMeCare, uses reminiscence therapy to encourage people with dementia to talk about their memories.
The software automatically creates content that matches the life story of the person with dementia. In addition to photos, the system uses music, films and images of events and places, taken from the web, to create a detailed multimedia profile of the person.
This profile is then used to help stimulate conversation between the person with dementia and their carers in order to build a better relationship.
For group activities, the software will pick up on shared interests and help several residents to take part. Family members can upload relevant information to their relative’s profile and be more actively involved in their care.
An advantage of ReMindMeCare is that it creates a digital record of activities and interventions so carers do not necessarily have to record all of this information separately.
The apps Book of You and Playlist for Life, also use photos, words and music to facilitate reminisences. These two apps are part of a dementia citizens project run by the innovation charity Nesta.
For further information, read this article in The Guardian.
Researchers, from the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, asked 48 men and women with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) questions about their quality of life and personal outlook following diagnosis.
The so-called ‘Silver Lining Questionnaire’ was used to measure the degree to which people with an early dementia diagnosis felt their illness had a positive impact on their lives.
Almost half the respondents returned positive scores for the questions which covered issues such as their appreciation and acceptance of life.
For more on this study, which was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto, go to the University of Kentucky News
The University of Birmingham are offering a free online course aimed at carers looking after family members with dementia or professionals working with people with dementia.
The course aims to develop the skills needed to manage challenging behaviour such as restlessness, agitation and communication difficulties, which can cause carers high levels of stress and burden. The course uses case studies to explore challenging behaviours and find out how other carers manage them both at home and in care settings. Specific interventions and a person-centred approach is used, particularly focusing on de-escalation skills.
For more information please visit the University of Birmingham’s website
The Alzheimer’s Society is launching a campaign to tackle what it calls an ‘unacceptable national variation in the quality of hospital care across England’. An investigation has revealed that an alarming number of people with dementia are falling while in hospital, being discharged during the night or are left in hospital despite their treatment having been completed.
The Alzheimer’s Society has published the findings of its investigation which was comprised of FOI requests to NHS Trusts in England and a significant survey of people receiving dementia care in hospitals.
For more information about the campaign, Fix Dementia Care, and relevant research, visit the Alzheimer’s Society web site.
Alzheimer’s Society (2016) Shocking variation of hospital care for people with dementia exposed. Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=2537