Innovative Businesses, Supportive Technologies
Tech tools that can help people with dementia are more accessible and affordable than ever
The Alzheimer’s Store Canada
James Busby’s mother always loved listening to music. But as she developed dementia symptoms, she began to struggle with her music player’s controls, and stopped listening to the songs that used to make her happy.
Busby looked for a product to support his mom’s love of music, and discovered the Simple Music Player. It’s easy to use: lift the lid to play music; close to stop.
“She really enjoyed it,” says Busby. “But soon, she was having trouble with the TV remote—then other technologies. This got me researching other products.”
He found there were no businesses in Canada dedicated to selling products for people with dementia and their caregivers, so, in 2017, Busby launched the online Alzheimer’s Store Canada, based in Edmonton. Shown here are four of the store’s more popular items.
How to Buy
Shop online: alzstore.ca.
Dementia Day Clock
Reduces confusion: Instead of showing the specific time, the clock shows it’s Monday morning or Tuesday night, for example.
Memory Picture Phone
Trouble remembering phone numbers? Simply press the photo of the individual you want to call.
Joy For All Companion Cats
Respond with soothing purrs, meows and movement.
Blaney, Musical Teddy Bear
Inside is a player with up to 1,000 songs. Squeeze the bear’s paw to play; squeeze again to stop.
Super Fly Adaptive Apparel
Jacqueline Cameron searched for products to help her husband, Jack, who was diagnosed with a rare disease called inclusion body myositis. It had him in a wheelchair, and Cameron found it difficult to dress him—he preferred trousers, button-up shirts and vests to baggy casual attire that’s easier for caregivers.
Cameron wanted Jack to wear clothes that made him look and feel good. In 2012, she began adapting his clothing: “I took his clothes, cut them open and installed zippers,” she says.
An occupational therapist encouraged Cameron to share the idea. In 2013, she founded Super Fly Adaptive Apparel.
Dressing can be frustrating for individuals with dementia. Super Fly’s apparel makes it easier. Cameron believes the clothing can improve self-esteem and encourage socialization. “And hearing that you look amazing brings a smile to anyone’s face,” she says. [ ]