Here we are in the holiday gift giving season wondering what to get our memory challenged loved ones. As I look at gift suggestions for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients I see lots of telephones with big numbers, puzzle books and dvd collections of old movies. Post it notes, erasable white boards, bathrobes and slippers, all good helpful gifts but all reminders of decline and the need for more assistance.
What about a gift that looks forward and gives the recipient the chance to participate in technology on their own terms and at their own skill level. An iPad is simple to use – whether or not you agree that it’s a good thing, plenty of toddlers and babies are playing with iPads, so why assume that an 85 year old with memory challenges can’t enjoy some games, videos or pictures?
The SilverLark games for iPad are enjoyed by everyone but simple enough for people with fairly advanced stage Alzheimer’s or dementia to play. Using your own photos of family, pets, memories and caregivers, SilverLark provides an opportunity to spark old memories and share time together. There are plenty of other ways your loved one might use an iPad – maybe to watch a video of grandchildren or listen to music, or be creative using a simple art program like Kaleidoscope. Our experience shows that iPads encourage socialization because Grandma will be eager to show off her pictures and share games.
And if you’re getting an iPad for yourself, consider installing SilverLark and some other simple games to share during holiday visits this year. It will give you or your children a new way to spend time during your visit and you may find that your loved one appreciates being included in the technology revolution!