A new digital service offering support for people living with dementia and their carers has been launched by the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Island.
The apps4dementia library has been launched to provide a place for users to find safe, trusted apps that offer information and guidance on the condition, support self-care of symptoms and enable users to remain independent for as long as possible.
Developed in conjunction with the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications (ORCHA), which helped NHS Digital populate the NHS Apps Library, the site offers apps which have been independently checked and reviewed for data privacy, clinical assurance and user experience.
As a start, users will find 10 best-rated apps that provide guidance and information; help with sleep, communication and keeping minds active; and support carers to care for their loved ones.
The library has been developed alongside people living with dementia and their carers who have provided feedback on design and content.
The initiative is part of the Dementia eHealth and Data Analytics Pathfinder Programme, which uses data and technology to inform better services, support people with dementia and help plan for the future.
Seamus McErlean, a social care representative from the Health and Social Care Board, said: “We know that people living with dementia and their carers face challenges at different stages of the condition. The use of technology, in particular apps, will offer a range of support; provide guidance and information to those newly diagnosed as well as those whose condition has progressed.”
ORCHA clinical implementation manager Lisa Simmons said: “With thousands of health apps available it can be confusing to choose the right ones. This new resource will allow users to find high quality, trusted apps to empower them to self-manage their condition, or assist carers and family members help keep their loved ones independent and improve their quality of life.”
To help with the ongoing development of the library, a number of roadshows will be held across Northern Ireland during the summer to showcase the library for people living with dementia, carers and healthcare professionals.
Caption: Launching the new apps library for those living with dementia and their carers are Allison Batchelor from Dementia NI and carer Emily Wilson (front); Health and Social Care Board’s Soo Hun and Seamus McErlean; and Angela Hodkinson from Atlantic Philantrophies.