Connect is a new programme we are developing working with younger people (of working age) with dementia. We are using iPads in Connect because of how much more intuitive and immediate they are. Clients can sit comfortably and informally without the need for desks or tables; we can work alongside them easily, as can family members or carers. We work with very small groups and individually, using simple apps, games and puzzles to introduce iPads and instill confidence in holding and using them. Over a number of sessions, we then move on to work at a level suitable for the individual – including individual-based exercises focused on personal interests and abilities.
When I walked with him I could feel how strange it was. His thoughts swam between us, hidden under rocks, disappearing in weeds, and I was fishing for them, dangling my own words like baits and lures.
Involvement of family members and carers is key to sustaining results for the clients, as we encourage them to continue aspects of the work at home wherever possible. In future, we intend creating and collating online resources to facilitate this. The aims of Connect are:
- stimulating thought processes and communication
- maximising mental abilities and encouraging a positive outlook
- continuing communication and sharing of memories with family and friends
Images produced by clients during the observation stage of the Connect programme.