Shopping for assistive products
Assistive devices can help individuals perform a task that they might otherwise be unable to do, or simply make the task easier and safer to perform.
A variety of products have been designed to help people with dementia or their caregivers, such as clocks, calendars, medication reminders, locator devices, stove element covers, therapeutic aids and more. Any of these devices might work well for one person, and be frustrating for another. Recognizing what will most improve your quality of life is a good first step in figuring out what products may work for you.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is often asked to recommend products or stores where they can be purchased. We have recently reviewed the following dementia-related online stores based in North America, as we know caregivers may find it helpful to know where to look for products and may find some of the items offered useful.
Note that the Alzheimer Society of Canada does not endorse any particular products or information that may be found on the following websites.
Online stores carrying assistive products
CDS Boutique: http://www.cdsboutique.com
This online store sells a wide variety of merchandise that all older adults may enjoy - from arts and crafts products to music to items used to encourage reminiscing. CDS Boutique also stocks a category of products designed specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
In the United States
The Alzheimer Store: http://www.alzstore.com
Their founders have a personal history with Alzheimer’s disease, and created their online businesses to support people with dementia and their caregivers. Their product lists include books, activities, therapies, tools, aids for daily living and information related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
For information on local services, contact your local Alzheimer Society or consult with a community health provider such as a social worker or an occupational therapist. The staff at your local Society may have suggestions about what might help you support yourself or a person with dementia, local options and resources, and what has worked for other individuals and families.
Before you buy online
- Read the product description closely (does it do what the title or name suggests? Is there enough information – like size, colour, and weight?)
- Shop around and compare costs from other reliable websites or local stores
- Read reviews about products on the company website or another search engine
- Deal only with companies whose reputation is recognized (certifications or seal of quality)
- Never give out your credit card number or personal, financial, or employment information unless you know the site is reputable and secure
- Always keep a record of your purchase (method of payment, shipping and handling fees, and any policies shared with you at the purchase stage)
- Keep a record of any delivery related information (confirmation, shipment date, etc.)
- If your merchandise is damaged, contact the company immediately
For more details, consult the Online Shopping page of the Canadian Consumer Handbook.
For more information about assistive technologies, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s document A Guide to Choosing Assistive Devices.
For information specific to GPS/Locating Devices, please visit our page on Locating Devices to understand some of the things you should keep in mind when considering a device that may work for you and your family member.