Digital care applications for people with dementia

Dementia can be caused by different changes in the brain. Complete recovery from dementia is often not possible. In addition to medical services, the use of digital care applications can help people with dementia. Digital care applications are programs that can be used as an app or web application on digital devices such as smartphones, tablets or PCs.Digital applications can be used by people with dementia  to promote physical and mental health. For example, in digital exercise sessions, people with dementia can use personalizable games in apps to train their memory and maintain cognitive performance. There are also apps that use special exercises to help people with health impairments reduce the risk of falls as well as maintain mobility and independence. When using digital apps, the following is recommended:

1) Strengthen existing competences

Choose exercises that promote areas where individuals still have skills to maintain.

2) Avoid overload, stress and frustration

Avoid content with a high likelihood of overwhelm, stress, and frustration.

3) Joy of life and recognition

The focus of exercises should always be on recognition and sense of achievement. The aim is a playful engagement with exercises to stimulate brain activity.

4) Short sessions

Perform several short exercises a day. 10 minutes is a good guideline since too long units lead to overstraining.

The DIGITAAL life app is an example of a digital application for activating cognitive performance.

Digital applications are also available for informal caregivers and family members of people with dementia. For example, there are digital applications for caregivers that serve to improve communication and the transfer of information in the context of caring for people with dementia. For example, important information, such as how to take medication on time, can be viewed and help to facilitate and improve the care situation. Digital applications include not only apps, but also intelligent sensors. For example, caregivers can be informed when the incontinence material needs to be changed.

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The DemiCare project has been funded by the Active and Assisted Living programme. AAL is a European programme funding innovation that keeps people connected, healthy, active and happy into their old age.

AAL supports the development of products and services that make a real difference to people’s lives - for those facing some of the challenges of ageing and for those who care for older people if they need help.

The project has an overall budget of 2.029.091,76 €, to which the AAL will contribute with 1.477.535,07 €