Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Living with dementia - apps that can offer support

As many of you reading my blog will know, I've spend this summer with my mother and have been exploring different ways that technology can help.  In this post I'm going to review several iPad apps that can support people with dementia and their carers.

The first app I looked at was MindMate, which is aimed both at those with dementia and the people caring for them.  There is a games section that contains 8 interactive games that build cognitive abilities and focus on attention, memory, speed and problem solving.  There's also a section called My Life that gives reminders about daily things such as brushing your teeth and exercising.   The aim of the app is to help those suffering with dementia to improve their self-management.  In this section you can add the most important information into Getting to Know Me, preserving memories so that they don't get lost if the person with dementia has to go into hospital or a residential home.

There is also a My Story photo timeline tool.  This app is available for the iPad and iPhones and it's completely free.  There are 2 other MindMate apps, Plus and Pro.  These allow the app to be used with family members and with multiple profiles on the same device - so could be useful in a care home.

To find out more about MindMate visit the website.

My House of Memories is another free app.  This has been designed by the National Museums Liverpool for exploring objects from the past and sharing memories together.  Again it has been designed for people living with dementia and their carers who can browse through a range of everyday sets of objects from the past,  brought to life with mutimedia to stimulate memory and conversation.

The app allows the creation of a Memory Tree, where someone with dementia can save their favourite objects, photos and videos to look at whenever they like.  The Memory Tree can also be shared with others.  There is also a read aloud option.  The app includes information for carers and tips for promoting memory through activities and resources.

The Book of You is a paid app (costing £25 for an individual) that uses reminiscence therapy to create a personal life story of someone living with dementia.  This digital book is designed to be constructed by carers as a shared activity to capture the memories of someone with dementia, creating a memory book of the precious times in their lives.  You can add words, pictures, music and film into the book, showing who the person was and who they are now.  The video below explains more about this project.

The final resource I'm sharing in this post is the Talking Point app - a free online support and discussion forum from the Alzheimer's Society.  The app encourages people to reach out and talk to others who are experiencing the same feelings and worries and is aimed at those with dementia and their carers.  In Talking Point you can ask for advice, share information, and feel supported.

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