The process of treating patients with dementia has been proven difficult. The condition is known to affect people at different rates. The inability to keep a stimulated mind can consequently lead to depression, wandering, and other behavioral disturbances.
Ambient Activity Technologies, a company that focuses on the care for people who suffer from dementia, has recently created the Ambient Activity (AA) Unit. The AA unit is a creative simulation that is aimed to improve the wellbeing of patients with dementia.
Many methods have been developed and deployed in response to patients with dementia in attempt of avoiding antipsychotic medication. Programs such as music therapy, video games, simulations, and keeping patients busy and distracted have been linked with positive results for those who suffer with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Can Technology Treat Dementia?When designing the AA unit, they took into account the positive outcomes resulting from triggering old memories and made it into a simulation to encourage the mind to engage. The AA unit is a screen encased in a wooden material to resemble an old fashioned television. The unit can be mounted onto a wall.
Through Bluetooth technology, the device will recognize the patient and, with the flip of a switch, the screen will being to display photos, slideshows, clips, films, and other engaging content specific to that individual. The purpose is to provide patients with physical, cognitive and social interaction and in return reduce the anxiety and aggression that is triggered when they face situations they have trouble understanding.
The University of Toronto is currently evaluating how effective the AA unit. The work put in by the university will measure two factors – alleviating boredom and increasing engagement – that are said can drastically improve the behavior of those who suffer from dementia.
If the results of the evaluation come back with positive feedback, the device could essentially become readily available to care homes where people with dementia and Alzheimer’s reside.