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Technology as a help.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
I know that technology is not something exclusively used by the younger people involved with dementias [my Dad is a real geek at 79!] but this is probably the best place to put this thread.

Although I have worked with computers since 1965, it was only since my wife started to show symptoms of Early Onset Dementia that I found a PC to be truly indispensible, for:

- learning more about the dementias
- learning more about the treatments
- sending for emergency prescriptions in the night
- ordering food from Tesco when unable to leave the house for weeks on end
- keeping in contact with family and friends
- keeping a precise diary of my wife's symptoms [so helpful when later seeing consultants] [page 300 about to come up]
- maintaining a record of her life, for me and for the youngsters who will never know her
- writing letters to the 'authorities'
- producing photographs to place on the walls of her room
- etc [there are more but I should really be working at the moment!]

Does anyone else have similar experiences?

By the way, I bought my first digital camera 4 years ago because my wife would forget what we had done in the day. I would photograph all kinds of things [even nice cakes for example], and print them out at the end of the day so we could relive things and I could try and prompt her memory. Invaluable, as it also enabled me to chronicle our last days together and that was so important.


Registered User
Jul 9, 2003
South Coast
Dear Bruce

You are absolutely right about how useful a PC can be for people in our situation. I would also add that it enables us to benefit from this forum, which is a great help in reducing the sense of isolation that can come with caring for someone with AD.

In the past I used it from time to time as a "diary" to record what was happening when my husband was at home so that I could give an accurate account to CPN, Consultant etc, and more recently to note what I felt could be improved in the hospital care assessment unit where my husband is now. I turned the latter into a "feedback" document which I discussed with the Team Leader of the unit, and I'm pleased to say that she took it in a positive spirit and things have improved quite a lot, especially on the communications front and with their understanding and care of my husband.

It's not just us "younger" ones (all things are relative!) who can benefit, as you say, your father is switched on! My mother (80 this year) has just started her second computer course and I am about to give her my old computer to practise on!

Best wishes



Registered User
Oct 17, 2003
Hertfordshire, UK
Hi Brucie, I posted a similiar message last year, although really only about taking photos & printing them up for Jen.

2 other things that may be of interest, I make CDs that play in a DVD player, short movie clips mixed with still photos, & play them on our DVD. Great way to share the memories of visits to children & grandchildren. I have made some copies onto video tape for a few relatives that don't have DVD players.

While I was working I set up a webcam at home, in the kitchen, just to keep an eye on the cooker, and Jen when she was in the kitchen. That was a double edged sword, as although it gave me some peace of mind, in that the cooker hadn't been left on, it was hard to see Jen staring at the washing machine, as if she couldn't recall how to use it.

The challenge now I'm home is to get all the benefits we can, and keep busy with projects etc.

Anyway, best of luck & best regards,


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
I've just installed DVDPlus that hopefully will enable me to write DVD compatible CDs. [Serif's software has proved a real and inexpensive boon for me in all sorts of areas]
Though I have a webcam, I have never really used it except in play.
Yes, I agree that it is difficult to see our relatives unaware of our presence, and just standing there confused. For me that was almost one of the worst manifestations.
The other thing I did ages ago was to record Jan in one of her rages against me. Why? Lord knows, but I have tried to ensure the path of her illness has been as well documented as possible. Anyway, it was upsetting at the time, but now it is the only record I have of her normal voice. These days her voice has dropped at least an octave and I accept that as normal, together with the total loss of normal speech.