Technolgy and dementia

First written 2014 and amended November 2017

Technology is a lovely thing, if you can use it and understand it these days

 Children are growing up with various forms of technology these days, and although they will adapt to newer forms of technology in the future, but I do wonder if they will be able to function without it, when things go wrong

When we go into supermarkets these days, we see modern technology at the checkouts, but if there is a power failure, the store must close, because no one can add up without the technology any more.

When I was young, the store staff added up your bill, usually on the piece of paper where it could be seen and checked, but those days have long gone

However, these days many elderly people have never come across some of this technology, and in many cases, they may not want to use it.

I confess that I don't cope with the self-service checkouts very well, and tend to join the big queues waiting to be served by real staff, rather than a machine

There are so many possibilities for using technology to keep you occupied or active, but I do worry that soon, it’s going to get beyond the control of many elderly people, or those with a neurological illness.

I suppose the day will come when doctors’ appointments could be done via Skype or telephone or even email, rather than face to face, and this will cause problems to those who don't cope with technology very well

These days we are told to order our prescriptions, and arrange appointments over the internet, however I get confused doing this, and my wife does not like it, so we do it the old way by going to the doctor’s surgery.

Many elderly people and those with living with dementia etc, are using technology at home to keep themselves active, in the hope of staving off the illness for a little but longer.

It does worry me that technology is now being overused in many places, making it difficult for elderly people and those with neurological illnesses to keep up with constant changes.

Looking constructively at technology, it's used so widely these days, that many people don't always accept its use.  Years ago, there were many complaints about the use of technology to track people with dementia.

But in all honestly, everyone who uses a mobile phone is tracked by a satellite, so if you can use a mobile phone and be tracked, why is it so wrong to use it to track people with dementia, because at the end of the day, it’s for our safety, and is giving us the freedom to do whatever we want, without needing full time carers with us.

This gives us the freedom to do what we want, when we want, so we can live an active life without social workers etc, or anyone else telling us what we can and can't do. 

But technology is far reaching these days, and some people would be totally lost without it.

I use technology most days, whether it's my mobile phone, tablet computer, or whether it's things like, the voice activated software on my computer, which is a great help on my bad days, when it's difficult to use a computer key board. 

This is a godsend, but it has its down side, because there are days when it fails to recognise my voice, so I must spend time going over the course again teaching the equipment to understand what I am saying.

This is often seen as part of Parkinson's disease which is like Lewy Body Dementia. The tone of our voice changes on a regular basis

What does annoy me, and I don't suppose I am alone, is the fact that companies keep changing their websites, and this in turn makes life so much harder for those of us, whose brain is doing its own thing.


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