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Sat nav gadget to 'help dementia sufferers'

Sat nav gadget to 'help dementia sufferers'
30th April 2009

A new system of navigation for elderly dementia sufferers has been developed by a north-east institution, encouraging the safe movement of individuals in usually familiar places.

Following a £12 million investment, scientists at Newcastle University created the digital technology in order to help older and disabled members of the community, which will allow people with Alzheimer's disease to find their way around supermarkets with more ease.

A further idea is to fit a dementia sufferer's kitchen with a number of devices which can prompt them to remember certain parts of a task, such as boiling the kettle.

Professor Paul Watson, who helped develop the sat nav system, explained: "Many older people lack the confidence to maintain normal walking habits. This is often due to worries about getting lost in unfamiliar, new or changing environments."

This week also found how the memory of fatty foods is much stronger than that of regular meals, with researchers at the University of California at Irvine believing it may have some relevance in treating dementia in future.

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