iPads and other tablets can be used for all manner of activities, such as games, apps, accessing websites and playing music and videos to help people with dementia.
Here are some of our favourite apps for use with people with dementia:
Talking Tom is a children’s game, but great fun for adults too, especially those with memory impairment. You can talk to Tom and he repeats what you say in his own hilarious voice. You can also stroke him, poke him, challenge him and earn gold coins in a mini-game. You can dress him in new outfits and play silly mini games. It’s great for fun interaction and contact with a talking virtual pet. Talking Ginger is another similar alternative.
My Reef 3D allows you to interact with fish, or just sit back and enjoy life on a beautiful reef. Featuring 14 types of vibrant tropical fish, MyReef 3D includes species-specific movement and interaction.You can individually select the inhabitants of your aquarium, and even annoy them by tapping on the “glass”. People with dementia like the realistic appearance of this app and and its ease of use.
Let’s Create! Pottery lets you make pottery by throwing clay on a virtual wheel. You can smooth the sides of the pots by dragging your finger across the screen and create a collection of pots of different shapes and sizes. This app creates a relaxing, therapeutic experience for individuals with dementia, particularly those who have creative interests.
YouTube is an enormous collection of short videos, which can be easily searched for and played.Everything from film clips, to old news reels, to pieces of music can be found on YouTube, allowing participants to request what they would like to see. These films and news reels are very effective for use a reminiscence tool.
Augment is an app which builds a 3D object, animal or person and, using the iPad camera, puts it in the room, so that if you look at the screen (or the projector screen if the iPad is plugged in to it), you see everything just as it was before but there is a new object in the room. It also locks it to a particular position , so even if you move the iPad, it still seems to be there. It can be used to place familiar objects and scenes in the room with the person to help aid memory and reminiscence.
Flower Garden allows you to pick virtual seeds, plant them, water them and watch them grow. This is especially significant for participants who used to enjoy growing plants and are missing their former gardens. iPads are able to provide activities which replicate things, which can be very meaningful for older people.
There are a number of options to help people with dementia remember the date and time, including Dementia Digital Diary, which is a live clock and diary, which can be configured remotely and Dementia Clock, which can be installed on a tablet.
Apps such as MyTherapy and Medisafe can help the person with dementia and their family to keeptrack of medication, doctor’s appointments and link with medical professionals.
The MindMate App is not your ordinary Alzheimer’s or Dementia App. MindMate is like a friend and guardian. It has a games section, focussing on Attention, Memory, Speed and Problem Solving, a Life section, which helps medical staff and carers knowmore about the dementia sufferer, reminders about personal hygiene, such as brushing your teeth and exercise and nutritional advice.
There are a whole host of apps which help to train the brain and are useful for dementia sufferers and those of us who want to keep our brain muscles moving. These include Elevate, BrainyApp, Fit Brains, Luminosity and Memory Games Brain Training.
Many people with dementia can become easily stressed, so finding effective ways to help them to relax is important. Try Relax Radio or Relaxing Sounds. Another option is Colorfy, which helps you to concentrate on images. Soothing Sleep Sounds can help people with dementia to get to sleep.
Dementia Emergency offers carers help and support in emergency situations, as well as how to cope on-going when caring for someone with dementia.