Why I research to support caregivers
I remember when my grandmother was living with dementia. I was a young girl and I remember my family struggled to care for her because we didn’t know anything about the disease. We thought she was just crazy because she couldn’t remember her sons’ names.
Her disease led me to study neuroscience at Queen’s University. I wanted to understand the disease better so that this knowledge could be shared with others, especially caregivers. If people understood dementia better, they could better care for their family members.
I am now researching to look at people’s needs for assistive technologies under the supervision of Dr. Alex Mihailidis. It’s a promising new field.
Assistive technologies help a person with dementia complete a task, for example, a device that recognizes when a person with dementia has forgotten to take her pills and reminds her.
This support helps not only the person with dementia, but the caregiver too. By encouraging independence in someone with dementia through these technologies, caregivers may feel less burned out from caring.
Are you a caregiver? You can help us develop better technology support! Please answer our survey.
But our challenge is not just creating new technologies. It is also that many people abandon them. That’s why we are looking for your input. We want caregivers who provide at least seven hours of care a week to share their experiences with and opinions about technology to help care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease through an online survey. It should take about 30 minutes to complete.
If we can improve the use and impact of such technologies, the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers will improve as well. And that’s something I’m glad to be a part of.
You can complete the survey online by visiting: www.iatslsurvey.org
If you want to complete the survey by mail or over the phone, or if you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (416) 597-3422 ext: 7910 or 1 (888) 220-0280.
Project Coordinator, University of Toronto