A NEW TYPE OF TABLET FOR DEMENTIA SUFFERERS
No, it is not a medical breakthrough but technological.
I often feel that I am on the road to information overload as I am constantly being bombarded with emails, adverts for new iPhones, Androids, laptops and smart televisions, so there was one recent report that I was thrilled to read about in the field of dementia care.
A study by researchers at Worcester University's Association for Dementia have found that using touch screen technology (iPads and tablets) have significantly helped those living in care homes suffering with dementia.
The not-for-profit care home provider, Anchor has provided residents living in their care homes across England with iPads so they can engage with families and loved ones around the world by accessing Skype, using Google Maps to look at places where they used to live or go to school or even play and listen to music.
It is great to see modern technology being used in such a positive way and is proving to be a great success in improving the quality of life and sense of wellbeing of these residents, which, when we constantly read reports of neglect and poor care, is a huge leap forward.
The most useful applications the care staff use to engage with the residents include the game Pictionary and a variety of music. These were used not only for the individual's personal enjoyment, but also by groups of residents as a way of reminiscing, a singsong or just for the fun of it!
The iPads are being used to create new activities as well as developing existing ones which enrich the residents' lives.
One heartening example that the care home provider Anchor gives as a direct result of this new way forward is of a former pianist living with arthritis can play again using a music app.
Anything that can make the life for a dementia sufferer and their family gets a huge tick in my tablet/notebook/laptop and I hope that this can be introduced by other care home providers across the country.