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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dementia: Common Assistive Technologies

This guide provides resources about Dementia.

What are assistive technologies?

The Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 described an assistive technology device as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Assistive technologies can be "high tech" and "low tech:" from canes and lever doorknobs to voice recognition software and augmentative communication devices (speech generating devices).

Technologies for Caregivers and Those Living with Dementia Loss

Dementia can be a frightening and difficult adjustment for both those affected by the condition and for caregivers. The following assistive technologies can help relieve anxiety, as well as promote autonomy and independence and manage potential safety risks: 

  • Clocks
  • Communication aids
  • Electrical appliance use monitoring
  • GPS location and tracking devices
  • Home care robots
  • Home monitoring devices
  • In-home cameras
  • Medication management
  • Picture phones
  • Reminder messages
  • Automated lights
  • Fall detectors

Technologies for Improved Quality of Life

Other technologies can be used to help improve the quality of life of those affected by dementia: 

  • Non-slip socks
  • Easy-to-wear clothing
  • Simple games, both physical and electronic
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Aquapaints
  • One button music players
  • Sensory cushion
  • Fidget widget tool kit 

Employees with Dementia

Finding Assistive Technology