Our Online Shop sells a wide range of assistive products designed to help with everyday life for people living with dementia and their carers but it’s not always easy to know whether a product is right for you or your loved ones. We offer advice below on things to consider when choosing a helpful product for someone living with dementia.
People react differently to different products. For example, one person might find it helpful to have a recorded message that plays when they open the front door, reminding them to take their keys, while another person might find this confusing. Some people may also be wary of trying new things or find it difficult to learn new skills. The lines between the different stages of dementia are also often blurred, so a person in the early stages may not always be able to manage a product designed for a person in that stage. Choosing the right product is therefore not always an easy task. The products you purchase should suit the individual and their situation.
The information in the catalogue and on our website should not be considered medical guidance or professional advice. Before buying products, it is advisable to contact an occupational therapist or GP, or the local authority social services department. Your local social services department may be able to supply you with some of the products we sell, so check with your local office to see whether they can. Even if they can’t provide the products, the person with dementia may be eligible for a needs assessment, help in finding the best product or financial assistance.
Assistive products should enhance and enable independence; however, they do have the potential to produce less positive outcomes. For example, if a product is misused it may replace human contact with the person with dementia or restrict rather than enhance their freedom of movement. Some people might even find that the very presence of the product reminds them about their memory problems, which can cause distress.
Importantly, no one should be forced into using a product if it is not right for them. The person with dementia must be involved in the decision making and their consent sought and given, where possible. Where it is not possible to obtain consent, it is vital that those making the decisions do so in the person’s best interests. The Mental Capacity Act (2005) provides a legal framework to support decision-making in cases where a person does not have the capacity to make their own informed decisions.
You will find lots of helpful fact sheets on our website, including fact sheets on the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and assistive technology, visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets
Dementia Directory, our comprehensive online services directory to find support services close to you by simply entering your postcode or location at alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you
Dementia support line, open seven days a week. It provides information, advice, and emotional support to anyone affected by dementia. Please call 0333 150 3456 (national rate or less) 9am – 8pm Monday to Wednesday, 9am
Talking Pointis our online community where you can ask questions, share experiences, and get information and practical tips on living with dementia. It’s free to use, open 24 hours a day and all you need is an internet connection. Visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/dementia-talking-point-our-online-community
For a range of information about dementia visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets and for videos and podcasts featuring real-life stories visit alzheimers.org.uk/videos
To find out about local services in your area, visit here.