People affected by dementia try out a range of products that are designed to be helpful at home and easy to use.
Our West Sussex consumer panel met again over Zoom to say what they thought of three lights, three remote controls and a device that speaks the time.
The ‘Get up in the night’ sensor light can be placed anywhere and shines for 30 seconds if it senses movement in the dark.
Lindy said, ‘It was very easy to set up and brilliant – really, really effective.’
‘We had it sitting outside the bedroom,’ said Peter, ‘and every time the cat walked past it came on like a light show!’
John said, ‘It’s a well-made product. We’re using it in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, so it comes on when I come down in the night to use the loo.’
Alison said, ‘You could put it in a cupboard to come on when you open the door. We had it on a skirting board.’
Gordon added that it’s ‘very much five-star, impressive’.
A second product, the 3-in-1 portable daylight lamp, can be used as a torch, desk lamp or phone charger and holder.
Chris said, ‘Mick really liked the lamp, he’s been using it since we got it. It’s got good instructions on the front, and he liked using it as a mobile phone holder as well. It’s good for reading at night, especially as you can dim the light.’
Stan said, ‘I was able to charge it using my mobile phone charger – that was after charging my mobile phone from the torch.’
‘It’s easy to hold, a nice product,’ said Jim.
The Daylight touch desk lamp is adjustable to a wide range of positions and sliding your finger over a scale on its base changes its brightness.
‘It worked easily and well,’ said Pat, ‘though it’s not a style I would choose.’
Jan and Ian loved the design of this lamp, however.
‘I just want to hug it, it’s very tactile,’ said Jan. ‘I can’t tell you anything bad about it.’
Ian said, ‘It’s nice and bright, and you can point it to where you want.’
The sensor light has been popular in our online shop for a while, and based on this feedback we’ll also be stocking the 3-in-1 lamp and the desk lamp.
Panel members tried three remote controls that have large, clear buttons, but struggled to set them up.
John and Joyce gave up after trying to link the Easy TV-5.
‘I think it’s the sequence of buttons,’ said Joyce, ‘If you don’t get them right in time, then it doesn’t link up.’
Roger said, ‘I tried it first on my smart TV and had some success, but the buttons didn’t do what they were supposed to. I tried it on an older TV and got it all working, and now it does work on the smart TV too. It is mind-bending to get right!’
The HandleEasy universal remote control is designed to work with most devices, though setting it up was again a challenge.
Lindy said, ‘I gave up on the first day, but the next day I looked it up on YouTube and it was easy after that.’ The only thing she hadn’t been able to get it to do was turn the TV on or off.
We feed these comments back to suppliers so they can continue to improve their products.
Talking time pal
The Talking time pal announces the time and date when you press a button, and it can be carried in a pocket or attached to a key chain or lanyard.
Although Stan found it tricky to remove the battery cover and needed help setting the time and date, he said, ‘Once set up, it was a doddle.’
Joan said, ‘It’s very easy to use and uses a very clear voice.’
Lindy said it wasn’t the right product for Peter, as she kept needing to reset it after he inadvertently changed the time while fiddling with it.
John wore it around his neck, adding that it’s safer giving someone the time on the street without risking your phone or watch being stolen.
Prices (correct at February 2021):
- ‘Get up in the night’ sensor light £16.62
- 3-in-1 portable daylight lamp £39.99
- Daylight touch desk lamp £75
- Easy TV-5 and Easy TV-10 remote controls £10.99
- HandleEasy universal remote control £24.98
- Talking time pal £13.86.
Daily living aids
We have a great range of products designed to help people with dementia and their carers to be more comfortable in their homes, while supporting independence and safety.
Our online shop offers many products designed to help people affected by dementia to live well at home.
You don’t have to pay VAT on many daily living aids if they’re for use by a person with dementia or other condition – tick the box stating that you’re eligible for VAT relief at checkout.