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Orientation equipment guide

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Before you buy, consider the points listed below:

  • If you care for someone who has problems with memory, orientation or confusion there are some ideas and devices that can help them to stay safe at home
  • If someone is disorientated in their home, homemade or purchased signs and targeted lighting can help to guide them around their home
  • Lights with timer switches can be set up to ensure lights come on when daylight fades, and plug in night lights; triggered by movement can help to illuminate rooms and corridors for easier navigation around the home
  • Movement sensors with recorded messages can be placed in specific places e.g. by the front door to remind someone to take their keys when they go out
  • Hand held devices with reminder alarms can be set up to remind people of visitors, events, medication, meal or drink times throughout the day. Mobile phones or phone apps can also be set up to do this
  • Object tracker tags can be attached to frequently lost items, which can be found with an audible alarm when the finder fob is activated
  • If the person is disorientated between day and night, specialist digital screen clocks can be set with a simple display of the time and the time of day to help keep them to a routine. Some have the option of setting visual or audible reminders to events during the day. The screens can be dimmed for night time but may still be too bright in a small room and can cause wakefulness. The clock displays tend to change from ‘Night’ to ‘Morning’ at 1 am which can be misleading if there is confusion between day and night and might increase risk of wandering
  • Baby monitors with audio or visual display, or bed or chair occupancy sensors can monitor or alert an on site carer of movements around the home day or night
  • If the person is living alone and an off site family member or carer is concerned about their safety at home, alerts and monitoring devices can be set up to send a message to the carers mobile phone or a call centre, to alert them of movement or lack of movement at home as well monitoring the use of household appliances and household risks. These require good internet/mobile phone connection
  • If the person has internet access at home an off site carer can use a tablet style device to update the calendar and even change radio stations to keep the person engaged and aware of time and place

Technology Enabled Care should enhance independence but could be considered intrusive. The person must consent to use of any monitoring device.