When someone first suggested using an iPad with a resident with dementia, I was skeptical to say the least. I was barely familiar with them, how could someone with dementia who had never seen one before deal with it? Well, as it turns out, generally quite well!
I was amazed at how many of the residents quickly became a "natural" at pressing the icons in the various games and activities and at the swiping motion to move along to the next screen. I don't know if it's the vibrant colors, the movement on the screen or the similarity to a book that does it, but most residents pick it up fairly readily.
Over time, I have found that some people are more comfortable using a stylus with the tablet rather than their finger. It seems to be more familiar and allows more control. We haven’t found the perfect stylus (which would be fat and easy to hold), but when we do, we’ll offer it on our website. In the meantime, you can buy a stylus at any electronics store.
Tablets have become a great tool in providing therapeutic activities for people with dementia. There are literally hundreds of apps available, which can be overwhelming. We have reviewed dozens of apps and selected 7 that we find particularly useful and that follow Montessori principles. Most are free, some cost a small amount. If you have an iPad, I highly recommend giving it a try with a dementia patient.
Check out our list of suggested apps for Alzheimers patients.