An App To Access Dementia Friendly Communities

What if there were a way to make living at home with dementia more suitable for your senior?
Developers in Australia are doing just that with a new app that offers caregivers, their patients, and loved ones the capability of creating an accessible environment at home for those with dementia.
Back in 2016, researchers from Deakin Software and Technology Innovation Laboratory partnered up with Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria to develop interactive 3D game technology enabling caregivers to help make homes more dementia-friendly.
According to the statistics, more than 47 million people worldwide are living with some form of the disease. And with the number of Baby Boomers nearing their twilight years, apps like the Dementia-Friendly Home will prove to be an increasingly useful tool for caregivers.
The Dementia-Friendly Home app is based on ten Dementia Enabling Environment Principles created to maximize “enablement and wellbeing for people living with dementia through physical design. If your loved one is receiving in-home care or personalized elder care, the app offers caregivers ideas about practical changes that can be made around the home. And they’re usually things that can be done on any size budget – like switching out dim bulbs and labeling cabinet doors.
How Helpful Can the App Actually Be?  
Maree McCabe, CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, says “changes in the brain can impact on day to day functions and potentially confuse people living with dementia.” Because many people with dementia often experience spatial and visual problems, the Dementia-Friendly Home app also makes suggestions for more significant changes like adding motion sensor lighting or changing busy-patterned bedspreads, carpets and rugs to something more visually simplistic for your loved one.
The Dementia-Friendly home app will also make safety upgrades suggestions for stoves and ovens while alerting caregivers to which devices to use to make them more risk-free.
Developers also created a way for caregivers to be able to scope out other places like stores or churches, where loved ones with dementia might frequent, to help avoid challenging situations for them.
In fact, researchers at the Dementia Services Development Center at the University of Stirling in Scotland came up with an app called IRIDIS (Intelligence Research Iterative Design Interface System) to help make senior living communities more suitable for those suffering from the disease by making recommendations on property design and home or building refurbishment.
Funded by the joint Commonwealth and State Government Home and Community Care Program, the Dementia-Friendly Home app can be used with both iPhone and Android devices.
While designed to make life more livable for seniors with dementia, Deakin University researcher Professor Rajesh Vasa says the app will also offer valuable support to their caregivers.
iPhone Users – Download App
Android Users – Download App