How Technology Can Effect Dementia
Technology is a powerful thing. It has the power to connect, transform, and make life a little more comfortable. Technology is also being used to help those suffering from dementia or other related cognitive impairments—one memory at a time.
Futuristic VR Can Take People Back In Time
Recently, virtual reality, or VR, has been a huge fad. Generally, people using it are young and looking for a new experience in gaming and video streaming. More recently though, VR has been used to help those with dementia take a stroll down memory lane.
By using a VR headset, coupled with 3D film that uses period costumes, props, and actors, seniors are able to travel back in time. Once the headset is on, a three-dimensional movie-type experience begins to play. This movie has all the sights and sounds of a period that those suffering from dementia may be able to remember.
The heightened visual and auditory information that the VR headset displays can spark memories in senior’s minds and provides an engaging experience. During the use of the VR headset, seniors have been reported having a happier disposition, engaged conversation, and even the remembrance of memories. Users report, in some instances, feelings of really being in the moment with the film. The experience has also been reported as lasting a days after, with signs of improved moods and memory recollection.
Virtual reality has been around for many years, but with recent technology it has been made more available to the public. With continuing research and technology development, it’s easy to see that VR could further transform the lives of those suffering from dementia.
A Bike-Ride Through Time
The saying, “It’s like riding a bike,” has never been truer. A new technology, developing in Sweden, can give those suffering from dementia a chance to travel to their hometowns, places they’ve traveled, or places they would want to travel.
Called the ‘jDome BikeAround,’ it allows users to travel around by using a full image of Google Street View. It does this by having people sit in front of a domed screen while a projector displays the image from a computer. By using the pedals and handlebars on the bike that the users sit on, the image changes depending on how fast the bike is pedaled and the direction of the handlebars.
The technology was developed specifically for those with dementia or other related cognitive impairments. It not only helps those reminisce, but also gives seniors much needed exercise. Similar to the VR experience, the BikeAround can spur memories about the user’s life.
A Phone App That Aids Dementia Research While You Sleep
In order for scientists to better understand diseases like Alzheimer’s, they must first decrypt protein sequences of the disease. The proteins are arranged in a certain way, and it takes a long time to break them down into their basic elements. The Power Sleep app bridges the gap between computing power, science, and society.
Once downloaded onto your Android phone, this app will begin decrypting the protein sequences of Alzheimer’s disease. It connects with computers around the globe for the singular purpose of processing scientific data that would otherwise take a long time. The technology will give scientists a better understanding of the disease in a quicker time-frame, as well as give people with the app a feeling of doing good while they sleep. In order for the app to work, the user’s phone must be plugged in to a charger, charged to at least 80% battery, and connected to a Wi-Fi network.
The app is currently only available for Android users, but the company, based out of Austria, has plans to add the app for Apple users soon.
At any given moment there is tons of research and technology development that is being used for the purpose of helping those with dementia or other related cognitive impairments. The more advanced the technology, the more advanced the abilities to help better understand dementia.
At Bonaventure Senior Living we understand dementia and we are always using the best methods and newest training techniques to better serve those that suffer from the disease. Our Memory Care Units are staffed with handpicked employees that receive ongoing training to ensure that those that suffer from memory loss are receiving the best care available. Our Twitter is constantly being updated with articles and information about seniors and the senior lifestyle. Take a look and discover for yourself.