Top 5 Assistive Technology Resources

Top 5 assistivetechnology resources

Knowing where to find assistive technology resources can be daunting. Whether you are a family member, care provider, grandparent, parent – Where do you even begin? How do you know what works?

We’ve identified a list of the top go-to sources for individuals with disabilities wanting to stay informed about assistive technology resources available to them.


#1 The Arc’s Tech Toolbox

Tech ToolboxWhy we love it: It’s exactly what the name reads – A toolbox. Full of products and websites all centered around serving individuals with disabilities. You can even customize your list  by using a few key words to be geared towards independent living, a job, health, interpersonal relationships, or communication, to name a few.

“We have learned that it is challenging to find products that are a good fit for the diverse range of needs and goals of those in our community. To solve this, Tech Toolbox™ provides our community with a user-friendly, easy-to-search online space for sharing information about technology products. Anyone can add a tool to the Tech Toolbox™. And, anyone can rate or review a tool. Plus, you can ask questions about how to use a tool and answer the questions that others ask.”


#2 AT Smackdown

AT Expo

Why we love it: A byproduct of the 2016 Adirondack AT Expo, attendees added some of their favorite assistive technology resources. The list ranges from Bookshare to Tots ‘n Tech.

#3 The Mighty

 The MightyWhy we love it: In the words of The Mighty, “We publish real stories by real people facing real challenges. We are building a brand and a community around them. Having a disability or disease doesn’t have to be isolating. That’s why The Mighty exists.”  Their stories not only include developmental and physical disabilities, but also mental health issues.


#4 Disability Scoop

 disability scoopWhy we love it: Disability Scoop is the nation’s largest news organization devoted to covering developmental disabilities. Stories cover autism, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and others. A recent story discusses a new regulation requiring movie theaters to further accommodate individuals with disabilities. Another provides an update on a tracking device for children with developmental disabilities getting one step closer to becoming law.


#5 Access and Inclusion Through Technology

Access and InclusionWhy we love it: It’s global news. Don’t have enough time to read an article? The site provides images and videos specific to accessible technology, similar to a social media feed. It also breaks out topics into categories such as Innovation, Leisure, Health and Social.  One such article highlights new technology in videos, including one about a computer mouse that can be controlled by an individual’s head movements.


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The Beginner’s Guide to Remaining in Your Home While Aging

That day is coming. The day when our Peter Pan philosophy can carry on no more. Others age but we don’t, right? It is time to face the reality that aging is something happening to us all and we must plan accordingly. Some people associate getting older with retirement communities and loss of independence.  But do we really need to leave our homes? The answer is no. Not if you take time to familiarize yourself with the tools and concepts available to you today.

“Universal design” is a concept quickly becoming embraced among homeowners of varying ages. The idea is to start making simple modifications now to your home, enabling you to remain in your home when your daily lifestyle needs and routines change. The article “Universal Design for Every Age and Stage of Life” states the best time to think about integrating universal design principles and “before a life change or emergency happens.”

UD #2

Statements like this make it all the more important to start being proactive with your future home modifications. SimplyHome is taking steps by participating in the Livable Homes Project with AARP and the Universal Design Institute. Richard Duncan, Executive Director of UDI says the concept is more than adding custom features to a home. The changes need to be packed to look good and work well. He took the time to answer our questions about universal design and explain a few things we should know.

 UD #2

5 Things You Should Know about Universal Design

  1. Where do you start? Before making any changes to your home, the absolute first place to start is with an honest assessment of your home and your needs. Ask yourself, Is this the right home for me to age in? For example, should the need arise, would you be able to move your bedroom from the second floor to the first floor in this particular house?

  2. The Three Main Areas.  The three main areas to focus on in your home are the entrance, bathrooms and kitchen. Making entrance changes are the most simple and the best first move. You can start by adding handrails to the stair cases and improving lighting. A good question to ask yourself with the entrance is, Are the hallways and doorways wide enough to fit equipment through?  After the entrance, some basic bathroom changes could include having  curbless showers, adding a bench for a place to sit and having a handheld showerhead.

  3. Common Misconception. When you think of an added shower handrail to help accessibility, it’s easy to imagine it as an eyesore, a bulky feature completely out of place with the interior of your home. But universal design is more than custom features. It’s the entire package of adding an element that helps your daily needs, but also fits the style of your home. For example, a handrail can also double as a towel rack.

  4. Get the right advice. The first mistake many individuals make when implementing universal design is hiring someone with expertise in one room, rather than understanding the functionality of the house altogether. For example, advice should come from someone with an architectural or interior design background. Someone with home-design experience, who can understand your needs as they will change and envision how your home can grow with you.

  5. There’s Higher Functionality with Technology.  SimplyHome technology is, “A wonderful addition to keeping people safe and  independent in their homes,” says Richard. The higher functionality you have to begin with, the more effective the custom changes. Using SimplyHome technology helps you to avoid limitations with the changes you implement down the road. You want as many options as possible. SimplyHome environmental controls help you to adjust lighting in various locations of your home from a single location – a tablet. SimplyHome door, window and stove sensors, medication management, fall detection, and telehealth services, cover all your needs to remain in your home.


Want to learn specific ways customized solutions can help you? Get A Free Assessment From SimplyHome






5 Senior Living Community Trends for 2017

5 senior living community trends


Can technology bridge the gap between all levels of care for people as they age? Recent trends in senior living communities are transforming care models, opening the door to more options.  

600 senior living organizations from 15 states were surveyed by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging to identify the top senior living community trends for 2017.

Trend #1: Technology will be key to sustaining independent lifestyles among senior living residents.

  • SimplyHome technology encourages and empowers an independent lifestyle through wireless systems by utilizing sensors. As a family member, you and care staff can receive call, text or email alerts from anywhere when a problem is detected. Family visits and phone calls can focus on what matters most — quality time. Motion, door and window sensors help prevent wandering concerns; stove and cabinet sensors can promote cooking safety and healthy nutrition; chair/bed pressure pads can unobtrusively monitor sleep and behavior patterns. Medication management, fall detection and telehealth are also available for care management.

Trend #2: Senior living providers will expand services “beyond” their four walls to provide important social connection programs to older adults living in their own homes, including adult day care programs, services to the homebound and in-home care services.

  • The independence SimplyHome technology establishes increases the list of social activities individuals can partake in. The SimplyHome model of natural supports (alerts via text message, phone call and email) connects individuals to their family, friends and neighbors, as well as to staff at community living facilities.

Trend #3: Long-term care is being transformed to support person-directed care and meaningful relationships. Senior residences are beginning to adopt smaller, home-like environments.

  • Technology enables families and providers to focus on where people want to live. SimplyHome’s person-centered approach is about creating customized solutions that are based on the individual’s needs. What are your daily needs? What is your daily routine? How can we maximize your independence? These are all questions we ask when implementing technology to help an individual remain in their home. Getting the answers to these questions also builds a foundation for relationships in the community and with care staff.

Trend #4: Language, perceptions and attitudes of care providers must be updated to reflect changing older adults’ needs and expectations. This might include changing the model of an “activity director” to that of a “life coach,” which focuses on working with customers who have higher, more self-actualizing expectations.

  • When technology is implemented into a residence, SimplyHome assists care staff to further understand the specific needs of your loved one. We stress to providers the importance of knowing what options are available and allowing people to make the choice of how they want to live. The technology is a way to support their choice.

Trend #5: Above all, consumers want choice and value. Older adults are demanding more choices, control, a redefinition of what community means, and convenience within and outside of the community. This includes financing options, customized programs, and access to on-demand services and engaging activities.

  • Customers with SimplyHome choose how they want to live. The technology in place lets individuals choose life on their terms. 24/7 Customer Service support provides care staff and family with peace of mind, knowing they will be notified if a change in a behavioral pattern occurs.

Canva Quote
This video shows how one woman’s grandfather was able to maintain his choice for independence through technology.

You can view the full article’s findings here.

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Home for the Holidays: Top 8 Signs An Older Loved One Needs More Support

Home for the Holidays


An Ideal Time to Observe

Ah, the holidays. Does any time of year fill children with more excitement over gifts and goodies? Of fill adults with more concern over travel plans and family gatherings?

The holidays are a great time to simply observe the aging process of your loved ones and to anticipate the process of planning for the future. Depending on what you observe, you can lay the foundations for future conversations about life changes, whether that means making plans to age in place, move closer to loved ones, or find a more supported living setting.

The aging process can be disorienting both for the person who is aging and their family members. How do we know the difference between natural signs of healthy aging, and more significant changes?


Patterns to Look for

Here are some indicators that an older person might be in need of additional support to maintain their quality of life. This is not a comprehensive list.

  1. Personality changes or rapid mood swings

  1. Becoming confused, aggressive, agitated, suspicious, fearful, or paranoid

  1. A greater need for rest or a disruption of sleep patterns

  1. Difficulty walking, sitting, rising, answering the door

  1. Difficulties with remembering people’s names or to complete daily tasks

  1. Disinterest in previously enjoyed activities

  1. Neglect of residence or vehicle (Examples: accumulating mail, out-of-date food in the refrigerator, debris or fall hazards, scrapes or dents on vehicle, deterioration of landscape or home)

  1. Neglect of self-care (Examples: unkempt clothing, bruises, irregular or inadequate diet, disorganized medications, lack of hygiene, lack of social interaction)

We encourage families to discuss their concerns and plans for the future sooner rather than later. Being proactive offers the aging individual the opportunity to participate in the planning process, and to have plans in place in case a crisis occurs. Above all, it’s important to reassure aging parents or grandparents that you will be present in the next phases of their lives.


Possible Solutions for Aging in Place with Technology

Not all of the concerns on this list indicate that individuals need to move to assisted living or have full-time support. With the combination of technology and home care, an individual can remain independent in his or her own home for much longer.

Here are some of the technology solutions SimplyHome to empower adults who are facing the challenges of aging:

  • Medication Management: Medication dispensers can remind individuals when it is time to take their medications. A call center can notify family or staff if medication is missed or delayed.

  • Wellness Monitoring: Blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters can collect health data in a confidential online health file. These systems send notifications if an individual’s status exceed predetermined thresholds. This type of health monitoring can prevent

  • Customized Sensor Systems: Wireless systems can promote independence with activities of daily living by utilizing sensors. Motion, door and window sensors help prevent wandering or fall concerns; stove and cabinet sensors can promote cooking safety and healthy nutrition; chair/bed pressure pads can unobtrusively monitor sleep and behavior patterns. providing alerts only when a problem is detected.

  • Preserving Independence: Notifications are sent to caregivers only when a problem is detected – this allows for senior adults to get the assistance they needed, without feeling like their privacy or independence is lost.

It can be a great gift to your loved ones to initiate conversations about these concerns, so that they can take part in a positive planning process on their care and plans for the future.

Want to learn more about these solutions? SimplyHome offers a free assessment process to discuss your loved one’s goals related to safe and independent living.

Initiate Your Free Assessment With SimplyHome

Photo credits: Holiday candle, holiday cookies (Flickr)
























Apps for Independence

Today’s mobile technology, like tablets and smartphones, offers us opportunities for learning and entertainment from almost anywhere.  Applications or “apps” are now considered as valuable tools for work, home and play.  As the market grows, more developers are creating applications to support accessibility and independence in the community.Apps for Special Needs

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of applications that can be downloaded to a device.  We often receive calls from individuals asking for guidance about how to find apps that might support someone with a disability or who is aging or who has dementia.  Here are some tips we suggest they consider:

  • Start with your mobile device.  Most tablets and smart phones have accessibility features in the “settings” folder.  These might include increasing the size of an app icon or using voice to text.
  • Utilize trusted online resources to research apps.  I check with organization websites or blogs to see what they might recommend or I search for “top apps for . . .” and see if several sights highlight the same app.
  • Don’t limit yourself to specialized or therapeutic apps. Often many of the standard games or learning tools can be just as impactful on learning and independence.
  • If there’s a “lite” version, download it first.  These are typically less expensive and allow someone to use a limited version of the app before purchasing the full version.
  • The more personalized the app, the more it may reinforce learning.  For some people, having photos or voices they recognize assist them in making more personal connections with the learning.   Research apps to determine if you can upload photos or record voices if that will be more meaningful to the individual.
  • Find apps that are based on topics the individual enjoys.  Connecting an individual to technology might be challenging initially.  Using themes such as nature or animals might spark their interest in interacting with the device.

As you begin to download apps and introduce them to individuals, remember that “less is more.”  Starting with 2-3 apps and becoming comfortable with those can make the difference in how successful the technology will be for the individual and more importantly, how successful the individual will be at home or in the community.

For questions about a specific concern or app, call SimplyHome Toll Free at 877-684-3581.

NCBDDD Publishes MMWR on Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type in the United States

To reflect on a month of recognition for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) announced a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) report that describes the percentage of adults living with disabilities in each state and select functional disability types.  NCBDDD’s Division of Human Development and Disability published “Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type Among Adults — United States, 2013”, a report that also presents estimates of disability by select demographic groups.  Health officials and other stakeholders invested in the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities can use this information to better understand and address the needs of this population in the United States.

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According to the report:

  • 1 in 5 adults, or over 53 million people in the United States, has a disability, with state-level estimates ranging from 16.4% in Minnesota to 31.5% in Alabama.
  • The most common functional disability type was mobility disability – defined as serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs – reported by 1 in 8 adults.
  • Although any person can have a disability at any point in life, disability was more commonly reported by:
    • Black Non-Hispanic and Hispanic adults: 29.0% of black non-Hispanic adults and 25.9% of Hispanic adults compared to 20.6% of white non-Hispanic adults.
    • Women aged 18 years or older: 24.4% of women, compared to 19.8% of men
    • Older adults: Over a third of people 65 years or older reported a disability.

For the full story go to:…
To read the report go to:

Here’s What’s Standing In The Way Of A Technological Revolution in Health Care

We have seen what a difference Telehealth and other remote care services can make in the lives of those we serve, and we’ve seen the positive impact it has on the care system supporting these individuals.  However, the funding mechanisms and incentives for creating broader adoption of such services are lagging way behind.  The question is no longer if these technologies work, rather it is when will insurers, CMS and others break away from their antiquated fee-for-service methodology to a more sustainable outcomes based approach?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Technology is capable of improving health care for elderly and rural patients, but so far the lack of a standardized reimbursements has been a major obstacle.

States needs to step in with legislation that standardizes Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for what has come to be known as telemedicine, or the use of communications technology to exchange information between patients and medical professionals in different geographic locations. (Sometimes people also use the technically broader term “telehealth” to describe this technology.)

Although many industries have already transitioned smoothly to incorporate innovative technologies into their business models, the health care industry has moved too slowly.

Telemedicine has actually been practiced in some form for a long time. As early as the 1960s, NASA was regularly monitoring U.S. astronauts’ vital signs including blood pressure and pulse oximetry during space missions. Fifty years, later, devices for remotely monitoring a wide range of needy patients, particularly elderly Americans living with chronic diseases or conditions, are available, but their use has been stymied.

A key factor has been the lack of standardized reimbursement for telemedicine technology and services.
In a recent report, the American Telemedicine Association said:

“Payment and coverage for services delivered via telemedicine are one of the biggest challenges for telemedicine adoption. Patients and health care providers may encounter a patchwork of arbitrary insurance requirements and disparate payment streams that do not allow them to fully take advantage of telemedicine.”

Standardized telehealth reimbursement policies that reflect the multiplicity of payment sources within the U.S. health care system are needed.

It’s true that over the past several years, state policies on telehealth have been evolving, mandating reimbursements by private insurers, Medicare or Medicaid in more states, and expanding the scope of existing reimbursement regulations.

For instance, the number of states with telemedicine parity laws that require private insurers to cover telehealth expenses as they would in-person consultations has doubled in the past few year, and Medicaid has also been incorporating telehealth reimbursement in its policy reforms.

Even with these developments, however, there remain significant limitations in reimbursement programs, limitations that are largely dictated by myriad factors: no standardized payment methodology, and unevenly circumscribed requirements related to the distance of the eligible patient population from eligible telehealth services and technologies to be used for them at remote locations.

We also seem to be overdoing the telemedicine pilot study phase, rather than focusing on getting the tools to remote patients who need them and paying providers for their services.

Take a look at an article about the passage in January 2012 of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’  telehealth code to be used for submitting claims, and known as Code S9110. Use of the code appears wrought with confusion, and the pilot demonstration project testing telemedicine’s value stayed an object of study for more than six years.

In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act mandated the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to pay providers partial Medicare reimbursement for telehealth expenses.

True, some legislation related to telemedicine’s use has been passed, but much of it is limiting. For example, Medicare’s stringent specifications on “eligible provider facilities” and “eligible patient location” have been preventing full utilization of service delivery.

Medicare will only reimburse telehealth services if the “originating site” (where the patient is located) is within what’s called  Health Professional Shortage Area and is a medical facility (not the patient’s residence). This precludes the utility of telehealth in increasing access and convenience of care in patients’ homes and reducing transport costs.

Also, Medicare mainly covers real-time services that use video to mimic face-to-face doctor-patient consultations, although it does cover “store-and-forward” services for specialty care (such asteleradiology, or teledermatology) in some states.

Medicaid, on the other hand, has been used in most state telehealth programs since it has allocations for health care transport costs, and these costs are anticipated to decline with telehealth utilization.

To date, Medicaid has been providing some form of telehealth reimbursement program in up to 46 states. The recently published “50 State Telemedicine Gaps Analysis” by the American Telemedicine Association notes that Connecticut, Iowa and Rhode Island are the only states which do not have Medicaid telemedicine reimbursement policies, while Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and West Virginia are among the few states that apply Medicaid reimbursement restrictions on geography, service provision type, provider eligibility and patient location.

Notably, Medicaid programs provide options for remote patient monitoring, which include long-term care services in home settings rather than institutional settings. This is possible through a federal waiver under the Social Security Act, to which states could apply for enabling home patient monitoring for chronically ill patients living with chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, asthma, obesity, mental disorders and substance abuse.

As with Medicaid, telehealth reimbursements by private insurers are dictated by state policy. At present, there is no standardized state regulation for private-payer reimbursements of telehealth expenses. Recently, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that 19 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted full parity laws. Arizona and Colorado, on the other hand, have enacted only partial parity laws that stipulate limitations in geographic coverage and follow a predetermined list of telehealth services.

The issue of national telehealth implementation is a multifaceted problem that requires state support through legislation that will standardize Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and encourage comprehensive coverage from private insurers and employers’ health plans. With the current state of affairs, health care providers will most likely bear much of the initial financial burden of moving towards telehealth, and in order to provide the economic incentive, they must be assured of a return on their investment.

Health care personnel working in rural areas are already stretched to the limits. Patients are not getting the medical care that they need. Telehealth offers a cost-effective solution to bridging this gap. The evidence is there. See, for instance, an April 2015 report from the American Telemedicine Association titled “Research Outcomes: Telemedicine’s Impact On Healthcare Cost and Quality

Although there have been notable developments in telehealth reimbursement policies in recent years,, promoters of telemedicine have been unable to drive national telehealth expansion to its fruition. Standardized and comprehensive state policies must be legislated to address this barrier, which interferes with efforts to provide timely and quality care for patients across the nation, particularly in remote and underserved areas.


The originial article “Here’s What’s Standing In The Way of a Technological Revolution In Health Care” can be found here.

10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging

The Huffington Post has put out a list of ways technology is changing how we age and we could not agree more. From online medical records to LED lights showing up everywhere, we agree that technology is making it easier for people to age. Along with Skyping your doctor and having online medical records, SimplyHome believes that technology can give you a renewed sense of freedom as you age in place. Take a look at the 10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging and keep in mind that the SimplyHome System might should be number 11!


10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging In The Next 10 Years

Technology is changing everything, including how we will age and the quality of our senior years. Mobile devices, wearable gadgets, and Internet-based technologies will help older adults age in place while monitoring their health and safety. As The Huffington Post celebrates its tenth anniversary, we’ve decided to take a look at the 10 things we expect to see in our technological futures.

1. Talking street signs.
Night driving is a real bugaboo for seniors. Our vision weakens as we age and eventually we reach the point where we don’t trust our ability to find places once the sun sets. GPS systems have given us a little more confidence that we won’t get lost, but what would really be terrific would be talking street signs that announce themselves via our Bluetooth as we approach.

2. Cars that drive themselves.

We know this is just around the corner, so to speak. We’d be happy just to have cars that parallel park themselves.. Automotive technology is working towards making us all safer drivers, but for seniors, there’s an even keener interest: It could easily help keep them safe on the road longer. The ability to drive, many believe, is at the core of independence. Cars of the future will be able to recognize unsafe driving conditions or when the driver isn’t paying attention and make automatic adjustments to steer the vehicle away from a potential accident.

3. The doctor will see you now — on Skype.
Video-call doctors’ visits have already been a boon to those who live in rural areas. Expect that the trend towards more telemedicine will continue. One day we’ll be saying “Remember when we used to have to go into an office to see the doctor?” just like we now say “Remember when doctors used to make house calls?”

4. Remote patient monitoring.
Patients can already check their glucose levels and download the results to their doctors. Watch for the expansion of point-of-care monitoring devices, such as weight scales, heart and blood pressure monitors that send your readings directly to the doctor. In many cases, these devices obviate the need to visit the doctor’s office. Many of the routine services that doctors traditionally have provided in their office are changing. Pharmacies already offer a lower cost way of getting your blood pressure checked and your annual flu shot. Not going to see the doctor also means no co-pays.

Take a look at the last 6 ways technology is changing the way we age here.

For Today’s Retirees, There’s No Place Like Home

Aging in place is an ever growing idea throughout the baby boomer generation. As Dorothy said, “there is not place like home.” This rings true for people of all ages, but baby boomers are clinging tight to this thought.

See what people are saying about aging in place in this article by USA Today and Newsmax.

For Today’s Retirees, There’s No Place Like Home

(photo: Thinkstock)

(photo: Thinkstock)

American retirees these days are gravitating toward the notion of staying put and “aging in place” rather than moving to sunnier climes, new data show.

USA Today reported an AARP study found the overwhelming majority of people 50 years of age and over want to remain in their home and community “for as long as possible.”

Separately, a Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey concluded 65 percent of retirees say they are living in the best homes of their lives right where they are.

“There is something deeply nourishing about our homes, and people become increasingly appreciative of that emotional connection as they get older,” says gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave. “It’s a rich emotional nest.”

Many retirees want to remain in their home “because they are most comfortable with what is most familiar,” psychologist Mary Languirand, co-author of How to Age in Place, told USA Today. “People are going to do whatever they can to maintain that sense of comfort. That is the ideal place in a lot of people’s minds.”

The Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey concluded a majority – 58 percent – are interested in new technologies such as cleaning robots, 80 percent are interested in tech-enabled efficiencies such as smart thermostats and 76 percent are interested in technologies to maintain their health, such as sensors, alerts and air purification devices.

Dychtwald says 52 percent of people over the age of 75 live alone.

“Technology can help people keep an eye on mom or dad,” he said. “The good news is that all of these breakthroughs are on the drawing board or already available, but they are waiting for the market to take more full advantage of them.”

USA Today noted AARP offers a guide aimed at helping consumers stay in their homes as long as possible.

The guide offers tips and suggesting ranging from simple do-it-yourself fixes to more expensive improvements, and also includes worksheets.

See the original article about what people are saying about aging in place here.

Early Detection Screen for Dementia

The National Task Group (NTG), involving SimplyHome’s Cameron Kempson, has unveiled a screening for people with intellectual developmental disabilities who are at risk for dementia. Summer 2012, the NTG piloted the test with seven sites completing an evaluations of the instrument.

The Early Detection Screen for Dementia is now available as an interactive PDF form. The answers can be recorded on the electronic version of the PDF and then saved electronically. The NTG wanted to promote an easy-to-use method of reliably screening and detecting dementia. They wanted the screening to be usable by paid professionals as well as caretakers. Minimal orientation or training is needed in order to conduct the test and it is easy to track changes over time.

The NTG-EDSD is also being used to identify dementia-like symptoms in people whose function and behavior may be caused by other health issues including medication interactions, depression, etc. Using the NTG-EDSD, caregivers are able to record and track changes over time in areas such as cognitive functioning and ability to adapt to new environments and experiences. While this is not something that is used to diagnose dementia, it is helpful to use as a conversation starter with other family members, caregivers and medical professionals.