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9 Reasons Why iPads Are Good for Memory Care Residents

By Dana LarsenMay 15, 2012
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iPads are not only hip; they’re also helpful in memory care. That’s right—iPads have actually proven to help with cognitive skills, mobility and communication for those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

We all knew Steve Jobs was a brilliant man of his time, but we’re not sure that even he knew how smart the iPad technology was for the elderly population. But the easy to use iPad has enhanced many a seniors lives—and especially those suffering from dementia.

According to Health Central Park Nursing Home’s director, Judy Skilton, “It came to us as a happy accident. What started out as one resident’s curiosity turned into something that is helping them spell, track items, make choices and read words. It’s amazing.”

Residents in assisted living and memory care communities love iPads because they’re easy to use with the touch-pad technology and swipe of a finger. They don’t require a mouse or control device which can sometimes be difficult for some elders. They’re also easy to navigate.

But how, exactly, is the iPad benefiting those in memory care? Here are 5 reasons why iPad’s enhance the lives of many seniors:

  1. They’re lightweight and carry like a book.
  2. They interact with residents, provide excitement and open-up a new means of communication to those who can’t express themselves in the way they desire.
  3. They can monitor an elderly person’s movements, habits, temperature in their home and remind them when to take their pills.
  4. Their music and music library options help to trigger memories of the past through songs of their youth and family years.
  5. They encourage socialization between residents with their games, varying apps, reading and Internet search features.
  6. There are apps to help encourage mobility. For example, one app shows videos of animated figures performing activities of daily living such as climbing stairs. This help patients picture themselves doing these tasks, and even mimic the behaviors.
  7. Computer access allows residents more frequent contact with their children and grandchildren of the Internet generation.
  8. Email updates and downloaded photos are now pride of place in residents’ rooms.
  9. They encourage residents to create simple graphics and pictures and exercise their creativity.

To sum it up: iPads are believed to help improve motor skills, provide memory stimulation and cognitive function and create a positive impact on the social interaction of those with dementia. Studies are being conducted, but memory care and nursing home facilities have reported positive findings!

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Dana Larsen