DEMENTIA: Apps that help

Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health, selects four apps that can help in the care of Dementia patients.

Talking Point

Price: Free

Available on Google Play and iTunes

Join the Alzheimer’s Society’s popular online discussion forums for anyone affected by dementia. You can ask for advice, share information and join in the discussions. You can also access news and information from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Bubble Explode

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Available on Google Play and iTunes

Match the bubble colours, then have fun popping each one with a single finger “tap” in this “failure-free” game, developed by Spooky House Studio. Games and puzzles can be a valuable part of dementia care as they enable those with dementia to enjoy an activity, either independently or with family and friends.

Bubble Explode is one of a range of apps that have been tested for accessibility for those with dementia. You’ll find others at AcTo Dementia.

Jointly

Price: £2.99

Available on Google Play and iTunes

Create a circle of care for the person you are caring for in this app developed by Carers UK. You can create a profile of the person you are looking after, which can store useful information you’d like other circle members to be aware of. The medications feature allows you to keep track of current and past medication. You can also create lists of tasks for assigning to others and check when they are done. And when you want to communicate with everyone in your circle, simply post a message or upload an image.

BrainHQ

Price: monthly fee £10.49; yearly fee £74.99

Available on iTunes

BrainHQ, developed by Posit Science, features 29 exercises on attention, memory, brain speed, intelligence and people skills. Each exercise is broken up into 2-minute training bites. A 10-year study showed that one aspect – speed training – cut the long-term risk of dementia by 48%. The updated version of speed training included in the app is Double Decision, which helps to increase visual processing speed.

Those in the very early stages of dementia may benefit from these exercises to help them perform daily activities, such as handling money and compiling shopping lists, more confidently.

Carers can benefit, too, from these “brain-training” exercises. Alongside improved cognitive function, they may experience better mood and more self confidence.

Unlike many other brain-training games, BrainHQ’s exercises have been rigorously tested, with the results published in scientific journals.

For more information on dementia, visit the NHS’s Dementia Guide.

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