Well it’s been over an hour since we pressed the nurses light and no one has come in. Very glad it is not an emergency! So frustrating…..!
I came in today and my grandmother was using her senior tablet. We are using the Claris Companion for seniors. It is a Samsung galaxy two tablet that has been designed for senior specific use. It is packaged in a nice wood case that stays plugged in. It is attractive and fairly simple for any senior to use. All functions have the ability to be turned on or off. I will be comparing it to other senior tablets and laptops in the future.
For the time being we have many of the Claris features turned off. I am learning the system and setting up many of the features as not each one is appropriate for our use. It is customizable which is nice.
My grandmother loves to watch the changing pictures of her family and past. I think we have about 200 now. I even added more today (from another location) and they immediately became available for her viewing. They definitely help her memory and keep her entertained. The game of name that picture never becomes old.
Many have reported that grandma has less anxiety since the Claris came into her room. They say she pushes the call button less and is engaged in something. For those reasons alone it is well worth purchasing it. But to add, for me the caregiver, it gives some peace of mind. Anything that can offer me a little peace of mind, I appreciate a lot. It’s not a lifesaver but it’s a little tidbit of peace.
I have also set up what’s called “surveys” for her. A survey will ask a yes, no, or maybe question that you write, to be displayed at your chosen time. Some question examples are- Do you you feel safe? Are you comfortable? Is Mia your kitty cat? Do you have purple hair? Are your legs sore today?
I program one question every two hours. Great tool for dementia, Alzheimer’s or memory loss. The questions can be scheduled for anytime of the day and repeated daily. After your loved one completes the survey it texts or emails you. The question makes a noise so you know it’s on the screen and it’s very clearly and largely written. The buttons are colorful, huge and easy to read. A simple press of a finger on the touch screen answers the question. I like it because it lets me know she is alert and helps me keep track of her well-being and daily routine. If she doesn’t respond within a set amount of time it will notify me of that too. You choose when it alerts you. This feature like all others can be set on or off. I like and use this feature.
There is also a “call me” feature which I have disabled at the moment. For most users it would be very effective but we have some issues with it. The call me buttons are big and easy to read and with a simple press of a finger on the touch screen the user can ask the caregivers/family (easily set up in the system) to call them.
We have several issues with this feature unfortunately. Because my grandmother has dementia she would forget she had pressed the button one minute before and was literally requesting me to call her every five minutes. It was very funny at first but quickly became frustrating. The second issue is that the big CALL ME button is displayed over the bottom of your revolving pictures and my grandmother many times believed she was calling the person who was showing up on the picture. The third issue is that it covers up the bottom part of your displayed pictures.
The “call me” feature should be simple but for some users will be confusing. If your loved one has an issue with it, you can turn this feature off. I would suggest they revamp this feature to make it more user friendly and overall effective.
The Claris Companion for seniors costs $550-$650 plus a monthly fee of $19-$49. I think the Claris would be a benefit to many seniors and others with disabilities. We will be continuing to use the Claris and exploring its other features.