Connectivity with friends and relatives who live away - how we met some challenges

Discussion in 'Equipment and technology' started by BTH, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. BTH

    BTH Registered User

    Sep 13, 2015
    3
    Hi - my mum has dementia. She is still able to function independently but has struggled more and more since the death of my father late last year as now she lives alone. Various members of the family live far away (I live in Australia) so, as a family, we tried to work out whether there was a way we could help mum be stimulated even if we weren't able to be physically present. Traditionally, we had done this by phone. We decided to get wifi and an iPad for mum who (unsurprisingly) steadfastly wanted little to do with it because it was new and she "didn't understand it". We got her the iPad for one key reason - FaceTime. That is the program (like Skype), that enables the caller and the called to see each other while making the call (and it's free over wifi, of course). The iPad lay largely unused by anyone other than the occasional grandchild. However, I was fortunate enough to be back in the UK for an extended period over the summer and, as a family, we set about focussing on mum getting to grips with FaceTime (which is actually much easier than a telephone once you get a handle on it). Trouble was, mum didn't recognize any of the incoming call triggers (unlike a phone). So we used another feature on the iPad (GarageBand) to record some music and sample some actual words of instruction which identified (1) that someone was trying to call mum on FaceTime and (2) what she needed to do to answer the call. We sampled something like "you've got a FaceTime call (x2); grandma pick up the iPad (x3); swipe the green phone to answer (x3)". That way, when a call comes through she can actually follow the instructions in real time. Guess what? After some practice (swiping takes a little getting used to), she got it! This is such new technology and very much out of her comfort zone but now she answers these calls and is so delighted to be able to receive "virtual guests" - it makes such a difference to be able to see each other on these calls I wanted to share the experience in case it may be something that can help someone else in a similar situation to my mum. I do hope so because it has really helped my mum and our family. So, for example, I can remind her to take her tablet and she does so while I'm on screen etc. any questions please just ask. Thank you.
     
  2. BTH

    BTH Registered User

    Sep 13, 2015
    3
    P.s.

    I forgot to say that for the GarageBand music/voice sample, you are given the option to save it as a ringtone. It can't be too long or it will get chopped in the conversion to ringtone but, once that is done, you just need to assign that ringtone to incoming FaceTime messages.

    There's no reason why you couldn't apply the same principles to a daily calendar reminder which 'spoken ringtone' you can assign to an alarm e.g. "It's 2pm and time to take your tablet" or "It's 8pm - time to check the doors are locked".

    You get the picture, I'm sure ..

    Thanks
     

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