Alzheimer Scotland's Digital Team are passionate about helping people find the right pieces of technology to help them live well with dementia. This story demonstrates the difference just one device can make.
After Annie’s mum, Susan, was diagnosed with dementia, Annie initially gave up work to care for her mum before eventually going back part-time.
Susan tries to be as independent as possible and makes an effort to walk the dogs every day and stay in touch with her neighbour but has become more reliant on Annie and now has started to experience anxiety when Annie was at work. Annie has a front-facing job and can't answer her mum's call while at work, which makes her anxious too. Annie was also worrying that her mum was getting back ok after walking the dogs now she wasn't at home to greet her.
Initially, Annie had felt that a GPS device would be a good option for her and her mum. However, after chatting through options with our Digital Dementia Advisor (DDA), she was excited to look at using an Echo Show 8 device. With this she could ‘drop-in’ and chat to her mum regularly while she was out and there would be no steep learning curve for Susan. The DDA also talked her through how she could set reminders to let Susan know what Annie was ‘up to’ and when she would next be home.
Two weeks later, Annie had purchased an Echo Show 8 and set it up using instructions provided by the DDA. We spoke to her to find out how things were going:
“The Echo has made a huge difference! Just the other day I was able to go out with a friend and on the way home I dropped in on mum and we were chatting away. I told her when I would be home and she was just fine. I’ve set reminders for when her carers are coming and I’ve been using the announcements function to let her know what I’m doing and how long I’ll be away. Mum isn’t using it herself but she loves the screen, particularly the news announcements that come up. She really likes and the weather feature too. I’ve got some much-needed time to myself (I’m trying not to feel guilty) and mum is happier with things.”
Annie’s story shows just how big an impact one digital device can have. . It has helped relieve some stress from both Annie and Susan. We know that technology cannot take away all of the cares and worries of living with dementia but, as ever, we hope to make those small improvements that enable people with dementia and their families to live well.