Using tablets to help people with Dementia

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by JigJog, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    241
    Hi,

    My husband is 62 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago.

    He is still very fit and active and walks every day. He is able to read still and likes TV.

    He finds it very difficult to do anything new now but does like to play Solitaire on his PC for about an hour, before moving onto his little Nintendo game machine where he plays Solitaire too. I have tried to introduce him to new games but it isn't what he wants. He is contented as he is.

    His daughters want to buy him an ipad for his birthday and put lots of apps on for him. They are really wanting to do their best for him but these things are not cheap and I know they would have to make sacrifices to buy it for him.

    I'd hate for them to spend a lot of money and for OH to not be able to cope/show any interest in it.

    Does anyone have any experience of using tablets to help people with Dementia? I have no experience of tablets myself or apps. It would be great if there are things out there which would be of value beyond simple games.

    I'd be grateful for any ideas.

    Many thanks,

    JJx :)
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,280
    Male
    North Manchester
    Is there any way that he could visit somebody with an iPad and be allowed to use it playing Solitaire or whatever to see how he gets on with it?
     
  3. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    I'd probably not spend a lot of money on an iPad initially, but instead buy a cheap Windows/Android tablet first just to see if he can get on OK with a touchscreen.

    Unless he's familiar with MACs, it might be better to stick with a Windows-based OS anyway if that's what he uses on the PC.
     
  4. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    241
    Thanks both. I don't know anyone who has a tablet which he could try unfortunately but I think I will advise leaving it, unless someone comes along with other ideas.

    Thank you :)
     
  5. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,703
    Female
    Dundee
  6. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    241
    Wow! Thanks Izzy! What a star! Perfect! :)
     
  7. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,703
    Female
    Dundee
    Your wish is my command - well, sort of!:rolleyes:
     
  8. john51

    john51 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2014
    287
    Male
    Dunstable, Bedfordshire
    Hiya

    Does your husband use a smart phone at all?
    I really can't get my head around Ipad apps and stuff, but I have a small android based tablet which I got to use as a book reader for a holiday where we have limited luggage allowance. The apps for this are the same as those on my phone and I have no problem with them.
    I got my tablet from a shop which sells right up to date tablets and phones but also sells more cheaply those that are just going out of date. I spent about a quarter of the price of an up to date one and got something I can use Ok.

    If they are helpful and patient, shop staff might let your husband play with a tablet on their display for a while before deciding to buy or not.
    Many of the good apps are free too!
     
  9. shelagh

    shelagh Registered User

    Sep 28, 2009
    476
    Staffordshire
    I have one and it is great.

    I have a tablet and I love it. (I was diagnosed four years ago.) It took me a lot of time and a lot of help to get used to it but now I wouldn't be without it As well as solitaire (I like the same game too), I read on it and the best things for me are audio books - but only books that I am very familiar with. I put it on when I go to bed, listen to a much loved story or music with an attached speaker that is designed to go under my pillow so it doesn't disturb my husband and eventually drift off to sleep. I also use it for watching favourite old films and looking at family photos
    It will tske a time to learn it but with perseverance a real asset
     
  10. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    241
    Thanks to both John and Shelagh. Your experiences are very valuable.

    We have decided to go ahead and buy an ipad after looking at the links posted by Izzy. Some very interesting ideas there.

    My intention is to take it really slowly and for me to work with my husband until we are familiar with what the ipad can be used for and any apps we decide to put on.

    Shelagh, I like your idea of the speaker under the pillow. Thank you for that. So reading, listening to music, audiobooks, familiar films, photographs, Solitaire. I must admit I am looking forward to trying the Kaleidoscope app mentioned in one of Izzy's links too! I've always loved kaleidoscopes! :)

    Time, patience and perseverance and I'm hoping that it can be a real asset to my OH too. Thanks both.

    Perhaps if anyone comes across any apps that they find helpful, they could let us all know so that we can give them a go too.

    Grateful thanks,

    JJ x
     
  11. stargirl

    stargirl Registered User

    Sep 16, 2013
    13
    I'm glad you've decided to go ahead and buy one - they can be a really great source of lots of different types of help. They're great for video calls and photographs as well as audiobooks and games, and dementia-specific apps.

    A suggestion for setting up is to think carefully about where you place the app icons (the little squares that you tap to open an app) on the homescreen, and try not to rearrange them after this. We all learn our way around these devices using 'motor memory', and it can be really confusing to a person with memory impairments if that memory is disrupted by a change.
     
  12. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    241
    Thanks Stargirl.

    We are in the process of setting it up at the moment and hadn't realised the importance of this.

    Many thanks,
    JJx
     
  13. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,085
    Brazil
    My mother used to get mad if a icon was moved on her computer. So my advise is a photo of it ( or write down where icons are)
     
  14. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    241
    Another great idea, thanks BR_ANA :)
     

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