Alive! a charity project initiated in 2010 for residential care homes in UK researched methods of improving the quality of live of the residents through activities. One of the methods of activities utilized iPads with individuals with Dementia to research their effects:
- Experiences of the individual users and impact of the staff workers
- Understand the potential of the use of the devices
- Identify how technology can be and effective intervention in care of individuals with dementia
Research data was gathered during a 6 month period with focused groups and individuals. Result of the research found:
- Communication increased when participants (older generation) used the devices with younger individuals
- Quality of life improved including communication, learning and improved resident and staff relationships
Advantages of tablet use were found:
- Touch technology was reported to be easier to use than a computer and mouse
- Found to be portable and adaptable
- anecdotal information reported increased awareness and memory
- Provided social networking opportunities
A wide variety of apps were made available on the iPads, many of them free. Favorite and recommended apps according to the Alive! program:
- Math App
- Midnite HD Lite
- Sand Garden
- iFish Pond
- Tongue Twister
- Let’s Create! Pottery HD
- Line Art
- Lifejournal Pro
- Talking Tom
- 150 Years of History
- Google Map & Earth
The website Memory Apps for Dementia supplies more information on the research, how they use the apps, and all you need to know about the project.
An extensive report from the University of Worcester dated December 2011 entitled ” Evaluation of the Impact of Touch Screen Technology on People with Dementia and Their Carers Within Care Homes Settings” provides more information on the research and is available at: http://memoryappsfordementia.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/University-of-Worcester-iPad-report-2011.pdf .
Working with individuals with Dementia? What has been your experience with the use of iPad for intervention or engagement?
Mobile technology can have its place in occupation throughout the life span!