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Helpful Caregiving Tools for Your Loved One with Memory Loss

“As any family caregiver can attest, being the primary caregiver for a loved one with memory loss is a significant challenge – one that becomes even more difficult as the memory loss progresses over time,” says Steve Carney, Wellness Coordinator/Administrator at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr located in Bryn Mawr, PA.

“Memory loss experts agree that the physical and emotional demands on primary caregivers can lead to hardships that can threaten their own well-being. Therefore, it is important for caregivers to take advantage of all existing tools that can make their job easier and their caregiving more effective,” he adds.

While family, close friends and community resources continue to be valuable support tools, an array of technological tools are also available that can make a caregiver’s life easier.

How Technology Tools Support Caregivers and Their Loved Ones

As noted in the article, “Digital Technology for the Family Caregiver,” new digital tools offer practical solutions for caregivers seeking to solve a problem, learn new skills and get support. Many of the tools listed in the article are ideal for memory loss.

For example, could you benefit from a tool that enables you to post an electronic schedule that allows friends and family to sign up for tasks like bringing by a meal, driving your loved one to a doctor's appointment or giving you a day’s respite from caregiving?

Today’s technology tools are benefitting caregivers in several important ways by making it easier to organize and manage a loved one’s care and by solving caregiving-related problems. These caregiving tools can make life easier for caregivers by:

  • Helping to save caregivers’ time and energy
  • Identifying helpful caregiver resources
  • Making it easier to manage the logistics and coordination of care
  • Improving health and safety factors
  • Reducing caregiver stress while improving the quality of care to loved ones

Most Useful Caregiver Tools

A recent national study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, called “The e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century,” evaluated the value of modern support tools for caregivers and identified the technologies caregivers deemed most useful to them. Overall, researchers studied thirteen different technology tools and assessed their value to caregivers.

The researchers concluded that technology tools clearly benefited caregivers both emotionally and financially and were a key factor in helping them to create an adequate care support system.

Three tools stood out as being “most useful” to caregivers of those with memory loss and chronic illness.

  • Personal Health Records Tracking Systems – These include websites and software tools designed to organize and keep track of a loved one’s medical history, medications and treatments.
  • Caregiving Coordination Systems – These tools include comprehensive care coordination websites that assist with calendar scheduling; sharing information and organizing care; electronic logs for medical appointments and health-care-related tasks; software calendar scheduling systems that family members and friends can log into and sign up to help at specific dates and times; and private “online communities” that all caregivers can access for information, advice and discussion.
  • Medication Management and Support Systems – These tools include systems that provide reminders and instructions for the loved one to take medications when a caregiver cannot be present. They can also notify caregivers if the medication was not taken within the appropriate timeframe.

Other Beneficial Tools

The report also identified other tools that were found to be helpful for memory care situations. These included:

  • Movement Monitoring Systems that track loved one’s movements in their home.
  • Interactive Systems for Activity (such as Wii Fit®) that enable the creation of a schedule of physical activities and mental games.
  • Symptom Monitors/Transmitters that electronically send information such as blood pressure to a doctor or care manager.
  • Video Phone Systems such as Skype® that permit remote interactivity with a loved one.

Online Networking Tools for Caregivers

Various interactive online tools are also available that can connect and support caregivers of loved ones with memory loss today, including:

Stave adds, “Because caring for a loved one with memory loss in the home is such a demanding responsibility, it is wise to explore all helpful options and utilize all available tools to support your efforts, ease your burden and improve the quality of care you can offer to your loved one.”

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog on helpful caregiver tools for memory loss, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section. We also invite you to read our timely articles on current caregiver and memory care topics posted on our website.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments.

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comfort of home. Our memory care community touches hearts and changes lives.

Helping Families Be “Family” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.

For more information, please call Sharon at 484.380.5404 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.