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.

INTERESTING
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.

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 - tel: 0131 243 1453

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