I am a student nurse looking for your opinions

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by lauren41, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. lauren41

    lauren41 Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    2
    Hello,
    My name is Lauren and I am a mental health student nurse who is using Talking Point to talk with carers and those living with Dementia about their experiences. I am currently researching the use of life story work and the potential to combine it with technology and would love to hear your opinions! :)
     
  2. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    Hello, Lauren, and welcome to TP. I wish you the best of luck with your studies and career in nursing.

    I have a relative, aged 73, with Alzheimer's type dementia. Due to problems of personality and relationship, as well as progression of disease when diagnosed, I have not pursued a life story book with said relative, but recognize it may be a useful tool for others.

    I am torn about the idea of an electronic version of a life story book. For example, my relative with dementia can still (usually) recognize a physical photo or drawing as such, but is unable to view a photo on our mobile phones and "see" it as a photo. This is not a vision problem, but something else interfering. I suspect it's the dementia interfering in some neurological way, but it could also be this person's pre-dementia resistance to using a computer of any sort manifesting, or both, or something else.

    I can also tell you that there is no chance this relative would be able to use a Kindle, iPad, or other device, but can and does still read (if not understand) a physical book. As I'm sure you know, people with dementia are often unable to learn a new skill and will, over time, lose the ability to use skills learned pre-dementia. And, again as I'm sure you know, certain types of dementia interfere with the ability to visually process information and something as simple as a coloured, patterned shirt or carpet or wallpaper can be terribly distressing to the patient.

    Having said that, I can see that an electronic version of a life book might be appealing to younger relatives of people with dementia, and if it's a way to engage family in creating something that might be of value to them later on, even if the person with dementia gets no benefit, then it could well be worthwhile.

    Also, as the population ages, it is possible that people in their teens, 20s, 30, and 40s now, who develop dementia as they age, would be able to continue to use computer, iPads, mobile phones, and other devices after they develop dementia, as it will be a long-term memory skill for some of them. I do not know if there has been any research about this yet, and doubt it, but you could do a search of the literature to see.

    So while I would not use an electronic life book with this particular relative with dementia, that is not to say it's not a good idea, or that I would not use it in the future, with another person.

    Best wishes to you.
     
  3. daveccfc

    daveccfc Registered User

    Dec 20, 2015
    9
    Cardiff
    Life Stories

    Hi Lauren, I did a Life Stories book with my wife Lynda about 6 months after she was diagnosed with Alzheimers aged only 55. We both enjoyed the experience of looking into her past and finding old photos and info from family. We found some of our wedding invitations and cake decorations in the attic which we did not realise we still had. We went to the library and found the local newspaper from the day she was born. We look through it together every couple of months and it is a great way to introduce her to new people coming into her life. I think everyone should do one while they have the capacity to enjoy the process. I could add some photos of it if you would like. Cheers Dave
     
  4. lauren41

    lauren41 Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    2
    Thank you for sharing your experiences Amy and Dave! I would love to see some parts of the work yourself and your wife have done! Thank you, I have found both of your comments really useful!
     
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Hi Lauren,

    I love the idea of a life story book but have doubts about using technology for Alzheimer patients. OH still uses a PC but cannot problem solve if he comes across a hitch. I bought him a mobile phone ages ago when he was in the early stages of AD but he could not use it. Our children bought us a new TV for Christmas and even though the remote is similar to the previous one, he is struggling to use it properly. Long before he was diagnosed, he was struggling with using GPS and it was just one of the things that gave me enough concern to look for some answers.

    But it is the frustration he experiences when he has trouble with technology that is the most difficult thing for him to deal with and that is perhaps something you might consider when you continue to develop your ideas.
     
  6. daveccfc

    daveccfc Registered User

    Dec 20, 2015
    9
    Cardiff
    Lyndas Life Story Book pics

    Hi Lauren,
    Here are some pics from Lyndas book.
    I love her school photos with a ribbon in her hair, a sign of the time.
    Cheers Dave
     

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