The annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Los Angeles in July brought together over 6000 researchers and experts from around the world, and featured more than 3400 scientific presentations – a record for the conference.
One of the conference themes was research into how technology can support people with dementia and their supporters. Research reported at AAIC 2019 found that:
- A remote telephone consultation with a health care provider can be effective in reducing emergency department visits among people with dementia in retirement living communities.
- An evaluation of the US Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline service found that 70% of callers put action steps into place within one week of using the service, and nearly 30% reported lower levels of emotional distress.
- A multimedia resource and video series called ‘MyBrainRobbie’ was effective in teaching French schoolchildren brain-healthy behaviours as a potential early intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
Dementia Australia’s A Better Visit app
Dementia Australia also shared progress at the conference on two technology-focused initiatives: its A Better Visit app (pictured), and a project to develop customised technology solutions for people with dementia.
A Better Visit is a free app featuring a range of two-player games designed to enhance communication and facilitate positive social interactions between people with dementia and their visitors. The app is designed to help families have a ‘better visit’ with their family member living in residential care. Often family members struggle to interact and engage with a family member who no longer recognises them. Dementia Australia says this application assists with engaging the family members and results in a ‘better visit’ for everyone.
The app is available for free for iPads on AppStore and for Tablets on Google Play.
Abstracts from the 2019 conference and details of next year’s AAIC 2020 conference, to be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands from July 26-30, can be found at https://www.alz.org/aaic/overview.asp