How tech can support people living with dementia

19th May 2016

With any mental health care plan, an individual approach is key to its success – and dementia is no different. Since the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards began in 2011, we’ve met some incredible people who have developed innovative technology, tackling dementia in amazing ways, including Adam Pool, co-founder of Dementia Pal and creator of MyPAL, a digital tool that connects those experiencing dementia with family, friends, health professionals and carers. Adam, who made it to the finals for the Youth Award 2014, created the care-planning tool with his mother Jackie, who developed the original paper-based PAL instrument, now a worldwide industry standard for professionals. Adam translated PAL to a digital web-based tool, providing a personalised care plan for care-givers, support staff and loved ones, as well as self-help advice.

Woman living with dementia with care-giver playing with a jigsaw

Photo from Jackie Pool Associates

We also met Alive! in 2014, when they made it to the finals for the Digital Health Award. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people through iPads and the Internet, Alive! offer a range of interactive workshops designed to create a person’s unique online ‘memory box’, filled with photos of their old school, a previous workplace or a piece of their favourite music. These memories can be used to strengthen a person’s relationship with their care staff, and can support them during a difficult day.

It was the general public who championed Kevin Marsch and his innovative product, myhomehelper, taking home the T4G People’s Award 2013. Driven by his mother’s Vascular Dementia diagnosis in 2010, Kevin used his IT skills to create a simple system to help her keep track of appointments and medication through timed and random reminders, stay in touch with family and friends, and keep up with the latest news. It also stores photographs, an important part of assisting a person living with dementia. What makes it even more accessible is that users don’t need any specific computer skills to run the system, and it can be kept up-to-date remotely, ideal for loved ones.

Celebrate Dementia Awareness Week and our amazing winners and finalists by sharing our article on Twitter, using the hashtag #DAW2016.

Finalists for the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2016 will be announced on the 8th June, and voting for the People's Award will open on the 9th June. Sign up to our newsletter to receive a reminder email with information on how you can pick this year’s winner.