Tablet Engagment: Personalized Dementia Activities
Helping care teams use smartphones and tablets to meaningfully engage people with memory loss
The journey of memory loss is different for each individual, but everyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia face a similar challenge - feeling like themselves despite a worsening memory. As carers, we can use images, voice recordings, videos and music to help people stay meaningfully connected to their identities.
There is no need for specialized computers or software programs. If you own a smartphone or tablet, then you already have the tools that you need to help a loved one.
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The Caring Dilemma
family caregivers face a distressing reality
Family Caregiver Guilt
Most family caregivers share a special connection with their loved ones that is the result of a lifetime of memories. Because of these rich and vivid histories, family caregivers are often best suited to help their loved ones maintain a sense of normalcy.
Despite the advantage of an emotional connection, the mounting responsibilities will overwhelm even the most prepared and resourceful family caregivers. You need the help of others, and in most cases, those other people will not share the same emotional histories.
By using technology to save favorite images, stories, videos and music, family caregivers can empower other members of the care team to connect with loved ones in a more personal way.
Using Everyday Technologies: Images, Music, Games & More
Reminiscing with Images
Images have the ability to evoke joyful memories and spark personal conversations.
The advantage of digital photo albums is that they can be easily shared and accessed by all members of the care team.
Reminiscing with Stories
A narrated memory is a voice recording over top of specific images or photos. Carers can use free apps to record narrated memories and save them as video files.
This can be a great way to help a person living with memory loss record their most precious memories. It’s also a great way for friends and family to share their favorite stories.
Listening to music
Personalized music playlists can tap into deep memories not lost to dementia and enable people to feel like themselves again.
Through tablets, not only do carers have the ability to save a personalized music playlist, but they can also access relevant music videos, including concerts, live performances and musicals.
Relaxing, guided prayers and meditations
For many people, participating in prayers or meditations is familiar and comforting. Tablets can be used to play soothing sounds of nature or music, and save favorite guided meditations or prayers.
Engaging the mind via art and games
While memory loss causes people to lose certain abilities, some skills remain throughout the progression of the disease. By exercising a person’s abilities with games or other relevant activities, you can convey a sense of achievement and purpose.
Using a tablet can make traditional activities (such as painting, cards and puzzles) more accessible for people with memory loss.