Struggling to keep track of everything? These products keep your memory in check
For older adults with memory issues, technology can make life a whole lot easier — even if tech products may at first feel a bit outside their comfort zone.
“Tech sounds scary, especially for those who still may have a landline or dial-up internet. However, we live in an age where everything revolves around tech,” says Jessica Haines, a caregiver specialist at Aging Care Connections, a nonprofit organization that serves older adults in some suburban Cook County townships.
Check out these five tech options, perfect for people with memory loss and other memory issues.
Ideal for people who lose things or forget where they’ve put them, the Tile system comes with a set of trackers that you attach to whatever you want to track. The Bluetooth technology pings an app on your phone so you can see the location of what you’re tracking at all times. You can even trigger an alarm if you lose something. Plus, you can add your contact info, so if someone finds the item and scans the QR code, they can reach you. Apple has a similar product, called AirTag.
$34.99, thetileapp.com; $29, apple.com/airtag
Automatic Pill Dispenser
Pill dispensers are more than just daily compartments now. Get one that allows you to load a month of meds and sounds an alarm or sends a text when it’s time to
take your pills. You can also go all out with a medication management system like Hero that tracks each pill, including dosages and when to take them. The Hero dispenser stores up to three months’ worth of 10 different pills. The service will even order and deliver pill refills for you. Medicare may cover some costs.
$99.99 initiation fee plus $29.99/month, herohealth.com
For older adults who love to take walks but may get lost while they’re out and about, try location-tracking insoles from GPS SmartSole. These water-resistant shoe inserts include a GPS tracker. The sole is unobtrusive, so you don’t feel like you’re stepping on a rock. SmartSole sends location data every five minutes. They need to be charged every night or two, so keep that in mind as you use them. Medicare or private insurance may cover costs.
$359 plus $29.95/month, gpssmartsole.com
Never forget the day or time again with the American Lifetime Day Clock. The digital clockface prominently displays the day of the week, period of the day (before dawn, morning, afternoon, evening, or night), time, and full date, including the year. The display is visible from up to 20 feet away. It also has five alarms that remind you to take your medication at different times of day.
Digital Photo Frame
These picture frames are particularly useful as a talking point for older adults who forget names and faces. Digitally load photos of loved ones, and the frame will display their faces in rotation to trigger memories. You can add captions as well, so not even the tiniest detail will go astray. With a frame like Nixplay, you upload pictures through an app, and multiple people can contribute.
Helpful Memory Apps
As we age, healthy habits become paramount to stay in shape. That means exercising your mind, as well as your body.
“We do exercises for other parts of our body, so why should we neglect our brain and memory?” says Jessica Haines, a caregiver specialist at Aging Care Connections in La Grange. “We have physical therapy for our brains at our fingertips.”
These three apps may help boost your cognition and brain health.
Elevate offers games that boost the basics, like speaking, writing, math, and focus. As you play more games in the app, it adjusts to your cognition level.
$4.99/month or $39.99/year, elevateapp.com
Every day brings a new set of brain games to help with cognitive skills. Receive tailored feedback and advice based on your scores.
$11.99/month or $59.99/year, lumosity.com
With more than 45 games, Peak can boost your memory and brain health, including daily training options and quick games that take less than five minutes.
Free; $4.99/month or $34.99/year for Peak Pro, peak.net