Apps Can Aid Older Adults with Mild Dementia
Smartphone technologies can help keep older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia independent, a new study indicates. Researchers at Baylor University found that smartphone digital voice recorder apps or reminder apps helped study subjects to follow through with the daily tasks they intended to do. This “prospective memory” is often a challenge for people with cognitive impairments, and behavior interventions, including technology-based ones, can help.
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported results of the four-week study, conducted with 52 older adults who had mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia.
Analyses of study results found that “greater usage of the digital recorder or reminder app was associated with better prospective memory performance and greater improvements in instrumental activities of daily living (completed by care partners), even when controlling for condition, age, baseline cognitive functioning, and baseline smartphone experience.”
Lead researcher Michael Scullin, Ph.D., told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News that “With the help of smart technology companies, we can make great headway on improving functioning and quality of life for families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”