Technology-focused devices are helping people with dementia live independently and avoid emergencies, while also offering caregivers peace of mind.
From live-monitoring technology and movement sensors to securely storing one’s unique scent, easy-to-use technologies are now seen as essential, proactive safety measures to help people with dementia — and their caregivers — feel more independent and in control.
Good Samaritan TeleCare Monitoring Products
Good Samaritan TeleCare is an Edmonton-based not-for-profit organization that provides total home monitoring and sells and rents a range of devices designed to keep someone with dementia safe.
“Our products prevent damage caused from things such as flooding or unattended stoves, and they keep loved ones from getting in harm’s way when wandering,” explains Jackie Lovely, Good Samaritan TeleCare’s sales development associate.
Among the organization’s most popular devices are CookStop, a motion sensor that turns off the stove when it has been left unattended, and bed occupancy sensors that trigger an alarm when an individual doesn’t return to bed. Other TeleCare products include flood detectors and temperature detectors.
Lovely explains that the TeleCare units are plugged into the telephone line, and once a sensor is triggered, a TeleCare operator is notified who can then contact first responders.
“As well as keeping individuals with dementia safe, TeleCare products allow caregivers to rest easy,” says Lovely. “They are designed to bring peace of mind.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in 10 individuals with dementia will wander away from their home at some point. Should that happen, having a prepared scent preservation kit can help track down your loved one quickly and effectively.
Scent Evidence K9 preservation kits were created in 2012 by Paul Coley, a Florida-based forensic canine handler. The kits are scientifically proven to preserve and store an individual’s unique scent, helping law enforcement agencies and their detection dogs quickly track down someone who has gone missing. Already, these kits have received international interest based on their success rate — last fall, a Florida woman with dementia, who had been missing for almost two hours, was found by a police dog in minutes because she had preserved her scent using a SEK9 kit.
Preparing a scent preservation kit is quick and easy. Each kit contains a jar, sterile gauze pad, label, tamper-proof seal and detailed instructions. An individual collects their unique scent by wiping the gauze on their armpit and then sealing it in a specialized jar to preserve that scent. According to Coley, these kits can hold scent for up to 10 years. Unlike items of clothing, these kits ensure scents are uncontaminated, reducing the find-time for missing individuals. [ ]