Introducing Tech Tuesdays

on Thursday, 01 February 2018. Posted in Everyday Living

While we have been travelling the country delivering our learning days about technology, we have picked up some fantastic tips and tricks; things that people are finding useful day to day.

We will be sharing them with you every Tuesday on our Twitter Feed using the hashtag #dementiahacks and we hope that you'll join us by sharing anything that you've come up with, adapted, found online, or invented.

Even if the solution doesn't involve tech, we'd love to hear it, but if it is, show us how you've become a TechChamp


 Tech Champ Boards


Peter Berry's YouTube videos

on Monday, 30 October 2017. Posted in Everyday Living

Peter Berry has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, and he shares his experience of living with Alzheimer's every week on his YouTube channel.

Peter's videos are helping people to understand the condition and the symptoms, and he is also great at sharing tips that might be useful to you or your family.

We are publishing his first video here, but you can watch them all on his YouTube channel.

Keep up the good work Peter, we’re loving it! 

You can also follow Peter on Twitter

Banking, socks and Power of Attorney

on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Posted in Everyday Living

We cover it all in our down to earth discussions with Ayr tester teams.
Today we spent the morning session comparing the teams experiences of getting and using Power of Attorney. The challenges of an 89 day wait to have it processed when your person is in a vulnerable position seem a little overwhelming!
We all felt P.o.A was a good thing to have in place and several of the team have used it to good effect, particularly with financial affairs. BUT how do you know what to do and when to do it? If anyone has some good sources of reliable up to date advice out there please let us know !

We also shared stories of banking - both good and bad, remembering days when bank managers knew their customers and could help when people became vulnerable. Stories of fraud and concerns over contactless payment cards made us pause and consider just how difficult managing money can be when you live with Dementia - a topic for further exploration we thought!

We lightened the mood with a great review of socks by our star technical tester. We had previously discussed how useful socks with coloured toe and heel might be when folks are trying to orient socks on feet with ageing eyes. So our team dutifully set out to see how much of a difference they make and feedback was GOOD. We found that soft elastic that allows the socks to stretch easily is good, a high % of cotton gave good comfort - keeping feet at a good temperature (neither too hot or too cold) and that having the contrast toe and heel makes it easier to put socks on your own feet and also someone elses.
Its easy to forget how much we do by feel when putting on our own clothes - something that is missing when you help someone else get dressed. The contrast toe and heel shows when the sock is in the right place on the foot - we hope ensuring a comfortable fit and help you find the top of the sock more easily. A real winner we decided for both men and women!

Cleaning your garden pathway with a teaspoon.

on Friday, 28 April 2017. Posted in Everyday Living

A lady I know cello-taped a table spoon to a broom handle. She used this to scrape off moss growing between slabs. She then brushed off the moss with the broom. This hack prevented her to bend down and she found it very useful.

Door handles!

on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Posted in Everyday Living

Opening doors for people living with dementia . . .

This month we had great fun exploring the experience of opening and closing doors, we had been asked to advise on handles for the internal doors of one of Alzheimer Scotland's resource centers.
Here is what we found . . .

THE GOOD . . .
We found that handles need to be a minimum of 12cm from pivot to end.
This length makes a good lever so even if your grip is not great you can use the weight of your arm to push the handle down and open the door.
Handles need to stand out against the door for those with sight impairments so using a contrast colour is important.
Handles with some shaping were preferred as they felt more domestic.
Handles that are easy to clean, texture can provide grip but can also harbour dirt and germs, a particular problem if handwashing becomes erratic.
There needs to be a decent gap between the handle and the door - we found 5cm worked well, even for David's manly paws.
Our sketch of what the team would suggest based on the conclusions of our testing is shown here as a guide.

THE BAD . . .
Round handles - twisting motions are hard for ageing hands
Handles with pointed ends - they catch your sleeve.
Short handles - don't provide enough leverage so are hard to operate for people who have a weak grip.
Handles with grooves - harbour dirt and are difficult to clean.

UPV double glazing handles that need to be pulled UP to lock - cause great confusion, are impossible for those with advanced arthritis and our resident OT Carol reports that she struggles to find adaptations to help folks with these doors. This is a real issue for window makers going forward - how can we develop secure locking that can be used by an ageing population?

Bathroom locks are an issue - we will follow up on this next month to try and find good locks that are easy to fit and can be opened from the outside . . .

Please let us know if you have any stories of good or bad door handles - here at dementia circle its all about the minutiae - making things better, by finding better things!

Stirling Dementia Services Development centre have some general information about entrances here if you are looking for more on this topic.

The *NEW* Digital Leadership Team at Alzheimer Scotland!

on Friday, 01 March 2019. Posted in Other

From October 2018, Alzheimer Scotland has committed to a new Digital Leadership Team which will consist of 3 Digital Leads – Charlotte Swarbrick, Gillian Anderson and Nicola Cooper. The team pride themselves on being masters in all aspects of digital design, taking the lead to drive a cascade effect of change and challenge traditional ways of thinking. This is an exciting and forward thinking move for Alzheimer Scotland, as keeping up with an ever-evolving digital world enables us to support people living with dementia and their carers today and tomorrow – offering services and support in increasingly accessible ways. Together, the digital leadership team offers decades of professional and personal experience of dementia, across a wealth of sectors. Their unique value proposition is that all their local, national and international work is inspired and informed by families living with dementia and the professionals supporting them. They hold a strong ethos for digital inclusion and strive to lead with a human-rights based approach - advocating choice, respect and freedom from discrimination. The digital leadership team view themselves as equal citizens; talking to people and being fully influenced by people's real-life stories. They feel deeply passionate about leading from this grass-roots approach and it ensures they have an understanding of the problems people are living with. The digital leadership team will be offering a breadth of new opportunities for staff, people living with dementia and their carers. Taking what they have learnt from the past 2 years to develop new innovative ways of thinking. Here is some of what's to come – Innovative learning experiences – further digital upskilling and inclusion for practitioners, volunteers, people living with dementia and their carers An organisational hub of digital excellence National network of Dementia Circle testing groups Digital Dementia Resource Centres and Digital Mobile Dementia Resource Bus Informative tours Local, national and international digital policy, procedure, assessment and strategy engagement Independent expert digital consultancy Organisational site visits and dialogue with key partners and stakeholders Creating inspirational environments consultancy Further advice, guidance and signposting – webinars, online digital drop in surgeries, resource development Leading on national tests of change projects Website and app development Dog and tech pilot collaborations And much more!

What day is it today?

on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Posted in Everyday Living

We have lots of conversations about keeping track of time and day in Dementia Circle sessions - its a challenge for us all! Day/date/time clocks were one of the first products we were asked for and its not easy to find a good one (we have tested a fair few) In Ayr we are building quite a collection of different models as part of our product display (POD) All our clocks are reviewed by our tester families and the good and bad points are pointed out with gentle but pointed honesty. Some folks find a second hand distracting, it can be confused with the minute hand. Some clocks are too noisy so its good to try them out in a quiet space before you buy them and then have to cover them with pillows to hear yourself think! Numbers on the clock face seem to work better than dots or roman numerals for most people and a good contrast in tone helps visibility. TIP: If you buy a day/date/ time clock check if it will adjust automatically for the different month lengths - otherwise every month you will need to reset the date . . . . The most interesting finding is that talking watches and clocks which speak in analogue time can be a huge help to those who have lost the understanding of what they see on the clock face. This can happen quite early in the journey so worth keeping in mind if you are finding that telling the time is becoming a challenge. PS so far the habitat clock is the favourite - because it has a big day and date!


Dementia Circle is a service of Alzheimer - Scotland Action on Dementia
Alzheimer Scotland - Action on Dementia is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland 149069
Recognised as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, no. SC022315
160 Dundee Street, Edinburgh, EH11 1DQ

24 Hour Helpline Phone: 0808 808 3000