Free app to help dementia patients and caregivers
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions accompanying it, have been especially taxing for people suffering from dementia and their caregivers, for whom this time has been physically and psychologically burdensome.
To ensure a support system for them, the Nightingales Medical Trust (NMT), an NGO working with the elderly and for those with dementia, has developed Demkonnect, a mobile application which is aimed at providing access to care and support related to dementia. This app is available on Android and iOS and is free of cost.
According to NMT, the nature of the disease tends to cause disorientation and makes those who are affected more vulnerable. This has a direct impact on the stress levels of caregivers. Family members, who have now turned into full-time caregivers, have noticed symptoms of dementia, like memory loss and behavioural changes, but are unable to visit a specialist and seek a formal diagnosis due to the lockdown and the fear of contracting the virus, a release said.
The application has options based on the need of the user.
“The Memory Screening option enables the user to assess their loved ones or themselves through a range of questions which would advise them on how to go forward based on the score. This could then be followed up with a consultation with a dementia care expert, through the chat option or through a video call. This is specially intended for those who are unable to visit a specialist for a diagnosis. Family carers, who are facing challenges at home or have queries regarding care of a person with dementia, can opt for the consult-an-expert option, which would enable the user to chat with a dementia care expert any time between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” the release explained.
Users can learn from the experiences of other family carers and share their own experiences through the Communities option.
With day care centres closed, the Demkonnect app has a few brain games to keep patients engaged and a Reminiscence album, which can help the user reminisce by discussing memories and past experiences using prompts such as photographs. The app aims to remove the stigma associated with dementia by educating users about the disease, the release added.