A visit to the Memory Technology Library (MTL) will provide you with real practical advice and solutions. The Occupational Therapist (OT) will discuss and advise on a range of supportive strategies, technologies and activities. Out approach is person-centred and we recognise that each person experiencing memory challenges and living with dementia is unique and with varying levels of support.
We will work on what is important to you as well as provide advice that can be supportive for your future. Some of the areas we cover at the MTL are listed below:
Habits and Routines
Building good habits and routines can be a great way to support engagement and give you control over your daily activities. Routines can be disrupted due to dementia, it is important to establish a routine that works for you. During your visit the Occupational Therapist (OT) can provide advice and strategies to support building good routines. Scheduling and planning is great to work on and can support a good routine. The OT can discuss options such as; using a diary, whiteboard, day planner, calendar or an app on your phone to help you plan and remember important and every day events.
A concern for some people with dementia is forgetting the day and appointments/events, this can have a negative impact and cause disruption. Simple day clocks that change automatically can orientate you to the day, month and year. These can be used with an orientation board or diary to help you stay on top of events and appointments coming up. The OT can work with you to build orientation strategies into your routine.
Staying Engaged in Daily Activities
Staying independent in daily activities is important for all of us and for our well-being. Activities we engage in have several steps involved and dementia may impact on engaging in certain activities by forgetting one of these steps. The OT can discuss this with you and support you with advice on how to adapt the activity.
Simple Home Technologies
To support continued and independent living there are some simple assistive technologies that are demonstrated at the MTL, these include; telephones with pictures, simple remote controls, one button radios, key finders, medication reminders & dispensers, and many more. The OT can provide further advice and consideration on these and has product information sheets with information on where you can purchase these. You may be able to borrow some of these technologies for a month’s trial at home, this gives you the opportunity to see if it is supportive before you purchase independently.
Meaningful & Stimulating Activities
Staying engaged in meaningful and brain stimulating activities are critical to our well-being and important to working out our brain. As dementia progresses it may become challenging to participate fully in certain activities. The MTL has a wide range of meaningful activities on demonstration and the OT can discuss with you the value of engaging in stimulating and meaningful activities.
Staying Safe in Your Home
Remaining independent and safe in our homes is a priority for us all, however as dementia progresses there may be new risks that affect your safety, this is individual to everyone. The OT has a range of supportive advice and assistive technologies on demonstration that can help reduce the risks, give you confidence and alert family if needed.
Staying Safe while Out and About
It is important to stay socially engaged, independent and active in our community as part of a full and meaningful life. However for some people with dementia there might be safety challenges while out and about. For example, you might become disorientated and forget your way. The OT can discuss supportive technologies such as GPS and communication devices to support your safety while out and about.
Non Cognitive Symptoms, Sensory and Environmental Advice
For some people living with dementia they may experience changes in behaviour, this can be a result of sensory challenges and perceptual changes. Our environments can become a challenge for some people living with dementia and there are simple changes that can support the person. This is unique to each person and the OT can provide education on why these changes might be occurring and make recommendations to support optimal engagement.