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Using technology to improve Allen’s life and enjoyment

Linda Coates a Locality Manager with Dimensions Cymru shares how they have been able to use technology to improve Allen’s life and enjoyment.

Allen, who we support in Swansea, has a diagnosis of Dementia. We noticed that in the last 6 month his health decline has meant he has been less interested in the world around around him. His well-being relies on a relaxed and predictable pace of life. As a team we discussed how we could support Allen to engage more.

We explored specialist dementia activities and equipment that Allen could do and that he would enjoy.  Our wish list included something that could be used by Allen:

  • To help with relaxation
  • Play music, which is one of Allen’s loves
  • Activities such as memory games
  • Physically it would need to be sturdy and height adjustable, with a touch screen
  • Could be used as communication aid
  • Reminiscence tours and  apps
Allen listening to his favourite music

Our research led us to Inspired inspirations, a company that produce touch screen activity tables for adults with dementia. Their activity table hit the wish list above and more: The 39 inch screen sits on a height adjustable table. Allen has scoliosis, so this meant it could be adjusted to eye level however he was seated. He also prefers close up activities than, for example, his TV. Allen hasn’t engaged with iPad and laptops previously so this larger screen would make it easier for him to use. The screen also tilts – it can go flat to play a piano app – and it is made of toughened glass.

We met with Allen’s care manager and appointee to complete a best interest decision to discuss the pros and cons of a large spend. It was agreed that the benefits would outweigh the cons and so we would go for it!

Relaxing with tropical fish

The table was ordered and delivered at the end of July. We were all excited to see how Allen would get on with it. We are still exploring its full capabilities however we can already see that Allen is enjoying engaging with the product. He has started singing to songs, something that he hasn’t done for a while, and using the touch screen activities. Watching the fish is very relaxing and Allen finds it calming too! From Allen’s perspective – It’s a hit!

Blog by Linda Coates, Dimensions Cymru Locality Manager