New app helps living with dementia

A RECENTLY launched app called Dementia-Friendly Home, uses interactive 3D game technology to provide carers with ideas to make a home more accessible for people living with dementia.

By making a home more dementia-friendly, a person to stay in their own home, enjoy their regular lifestyle activities and remain engaged with their community for longer.

The Dementia-Friendly Home app recommends practical changes that prompt a carer to think about how the home can be changed in a way that may assist the person living with dementia.

Many of the app suggestions are small, inexpensive ideas, such as placing labels with pictures on cupboard doors.

DEMENTIA LIVING: Norm Smith, a carer, demonstrating The Dementia-Friendly Home app with Martin Foley MP, Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing.
DEMENTIA LIVING: Norm Smith, a carer, demonstrating The Dementia-Friendly Home app with Martin Foley MP, Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing. Arsineh Houspian

More significant changes include installing motion sensors that turn lights on and off when people walk through the house and changing busily patterned wall or floor coverings.

Carer Norm Smith has used the app to help his wife Cathy, 53 and living with dementia, to feel comfortable in their family home. "Using the app affirmed ideas I'd had around labelling cupboards and keeping floors and hallways clear and well lit," Norm said. "It also made me realise I need to try to pre-empt situations that could be challenging for Cathy when we visit other people's homes or our church.

"Enabling Cathy to remain involved in the daily routine, even just being able to make a cup of tea for herself and guests, to contribute to the household planning and activity is really important to us and impacts positively on her and our family."

The Dementia-Friendly Home app is available for iPad from the App Store and for Android tablets from the Google Play store, for $2.99.

For more information, go to www.fightdementia.org.au/vic.


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