Our panel looks at a range of products that are designed to help people with dementia know what time it is and when they need to do things.
We visited Peterborough’s Think and Share group to see what they thought about a range of products that help keep track of time and things to do.
The group is for people living with dementia, and they meet weekly at the city’s Dementia Resource Centre to enjoy each other’s company and support.
We showed the group a new pill dispenser from Ravencourt Living called Pippa Tipper, which has locked compartments that you can fill with pills in advance. You then programme it so that each compartment opens with the right pills at the right time, with a message reminding you to take them.
Doug said, ‘I do regularly forget my tablets – this is a good idea.’
Norma, who has osteoarthritis, found getting the pills out of the open compartment a bit of a challenge. ‘I had to shake it fairly vigorously,’ she said.
Ellie suggested, ‘You could tip it into a dish or container instead.’
Although Frank thought he wouldn’t be able to get the pills out, Norma told him, ‘You can do it!’
Frank said he currently uses a single strip dispenser with the name of the day on each compartment, and Ellie said she has the same kind.
Tim asked how many pills fit into each compartment, and Val – who takes 16 pills at various times each day – wasn’t sure if the medicine patch she also uses would fit in a compartment. However, they were pleased to learn that you can program it with up to 28 reminders per day, and the compartments were large enough for all of Val’s pills.
‘That’s good isn’t it?’ said Val, ‘And you wouldn’t have to keep looking at it because the alarm would remind you.’
Frank asked how the compartments are labelled, and Oli from Ravencourt explained that Pippa Tipper comes with labels you can fill out to suit your needs.
Ellie, seeing how the compartments rotated over time, with the required one unlocking and opening at the right time, said, ‘I like it, it’s very clever!’
Things to do
The group also looked at the Memory Calendar and the latest version of Ravencourt’s Rosebud Reminder Clock.
Memory Calendar is a page-per-day desktop calendar, with space to write reminders and notes beneath today’s date.
The Rosebud displays the time or day, and you can set reminders with sound, video and text. Based on feedback from previous panels, the new model comes with a remote control to help programme reminders, and its time updates automatically when the clocks change.
‘Keeping track of the date and time can be difficult,’ said Doug.
‘You can go completely blank,’ agreed Norma, ‘so things like this are useful.’
Pulling a large book from her bag, Ellie said, ‘I’ve got this diary. It has everything written down for today.’
Frank said his daughter puts a list of reminders on the inside of his front door, so he sees them before he goes out.
Christine, who’d been able to try the reminder clock out at home before the session, said, ‘The Rosebud was fantastic! I kept it beside the bed.’
Norma said she kept a similar clock underneath her TV so she could see it easily.
Hayley pointed out that you need to know which side of the Memory Calendar to look at, since each sheet has a different day printed on either side.
However, Norma remained impressed by it. ‘Now, that’s not a bad idea at all!’ she said.
Hearing the time
Frank was impressed by the Talking Button Clock, saying, ‘That would be useful, that is brilliant,’ while Ellie thought the Talking Time Pal was ‘absolutely perfect’.
‘They’ve got a nice clear sound and speaking voice as well,’ added Frank.
Marion wanted to know if you can set an alarm on these two devices, and Oli assured her you can – three per day on the Talking Time Pal and one a day on the Talking Button Clock.
Prices (correct at February 2022):
- Pippa Tipper £69.99 plus VAT.
- Memory Calendar 2022 is £10.
- Rosebud Reminder Clock is £69.99 plus VAT.
- Talking Time Pal is £11.55 plus VAT.
- Talking Button Clock £17.77 plus VAT.
As with some other specially designed products, you don’t have to pay VAT if they’re for use by a person with dementia – tick the box stating that you’re eligible for VAT relief at checkout.
Helpful everyday products
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.