Using technology to engage people with dementia

This source preferred by Clare Cutler

Authors: Cutler, C., Innes, A. and Hicks, B.

Start date: 11 September 2013

There is little research exploring the experiences of people with dementia and their engagement with technologies such as the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and the Apple I Pad. Engaging people with dementia and their carers in the use of these technologies can promote social engagement, mental stimulation, and physical activity. This presentation will report on a pilot project, conducted in the South of England involving people with dementia in a ‘Technology Club’, which aimed to encourage engagement in social and leisure activities through the use of the above technologies.

This pilot study identified that the Technology Club provided opportunities for social interaction, stimulation and access to learning. There was huge significance around the desire to learn and the importance of support. The Nintendo Wii and Apple I Pad were found to be the most enjoyed and beneficial technologies used. In particular participants reported that bowling and balance games were the most fun of all the Wii games. Google Earth, was the most popular app used on the I Pad. The Nintendo DS proved to be less popular due to its small screen and difficult navigation routes.

Technology can aid people with dementia in developing and acquiring new skills and knowledge. Games and apps such as bowling, balance games and Google Earth are exciting ways to encourage people with dementia to exercise, challenge their physical abilities and to have fun. A larger research study is required to test the initial findings on a larger scale.

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