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About 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. Of them, about 5.1 million are over the age of 65. Because of our growing elderly population, those numbers are only going to increase each year. The Alzheimer’s Association projects that, by 2025, the number of senior citizens with the disease will reach 7.1 million — a 40 percent increase from 2015.
Not all people with the disease go into nursing homes or assisted living centers. In fact, many want to live independently. There are many products those people or their caregivers can use to help them exercise their memory and maintain independent living.
These can be an important device to help the person keep track of dates and times. Clocks such as this one have large digital faces that spell out the full date. It also has a sharp, nonglare display that can be useful for anyone with visual impairments. In case confusion between different times of day is a persistent issue, this clock tells you whether it is morning, afternoon, evening, or nighttime.
Large print calendars like this one are an effective way to remember important dates. A large wall calendar is also hard to miss, helping anyone to keep track of dates, appointments, and special occasions.
Not only can games be wonderful to keep our minds active, but they can also introduce a social aspect. Match the Shapes is made specifically for people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as is Match the Dots. The latter involves matching up the dots on domino tiles, which can also trigger positive memories. People who enjoy playing cards might like Match the Suits, which has a similar concept. People who like word games will probably appreciate Grab & Go Word Search puzzles, which feature a simple layout and larger print.
A good pillbox can prevent confusion and help a person with Alzheimer’s disease ensure that they are taking the right medications at the right time — and not taking pills over and over again. This one has five different alarm times, plus a countdown timer to ensure medication is taken on time.
Staying connected is important, especially when your friend or loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The Memory Phone can be programmed with numbers and images so the user only has to push the person’s picture to call them. VTech makes a phone that has those same features, plus a portable safety pendant that you can use in case you need emergency assistance but can’t reach the phone.
The Emergency Medical Alert Bracelet might be a good option if the person you are caring for wanders. If the QR code on the bracelet is scanned, the scanner will see a message saying "provide location." When he or she provides the location via a smart phone, tablet, or computer, any emergency contacts will receive a notification with the patient’s location.
There are plenty of innovative products on the market today that enable those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other forms of memory loss to live safely, whether they are fully independent or not. These products not only assist the individual but can offer much needed peace of mind for busy caregivers who want to make sure their loved ones are always safe.