Innovative projects - technology and people
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We can do IT too
One of the first projects we did was a joint project with
Housing21 that introduced computers and the internet as part of the activities
programmes in two of their day centres (see below).
As part of that project, Nada presented some workshops around the different
ways that people with dementia can interact with computers. She met Verity
Stokes, who is a speech and language therapist.
They realised they had a shared passion for helping people with dementia
to get the most out of IT. They have put together all their experiences
to create a practical book called ‘We can do IT too’.
This practical guide for care staff and volunteers covers
- Recording people’s lives – digital life story books;
- Making things – calendars; photo albums; reminders
- Helping with conversations – word finding; topics
- Communicating with friends (email; Skype, social
- Helping with planning – personal planning; care plans; using
You can order your copy from Speechmark publishing. Go to their website
is a new technology service under development for people with
dementia. Mylife uses internet-based services and applications but simplifies
how you use them.
The Mylife system presents these technologies through an
easy-to-use touch screen interface.
The system will include:
- a personal calendar
- photo albums
The Mylife service has been developed in Norway by a small technology
company called Karde AS.
We are part of a European project along with Housing21 and Trent Dementia
Services Development Centre. There are also other partners in Norway and
We will be working with people with dementia and their carers to test
the system to make sure that it works well for people with dementia in
Information about assistive technology for people with dementia
The full version of the AT Guide is now available online.
Your can get to it from the atdementia.org.uk website - www.atdementia.org.uk
The AT Guide works by asking people are series of questions
about their lives and their concerns around living independently. The
website then provides a report which contains tips, advice and ideas for
products that might help. The report can be easily printed and taken away.
We worked with people with dementia who told us:
- The headings on the existing ATdementia site are confusing –
and a series of questions is easier to understand
- The language that is used in the questions is very important.
- The images should illustrate a question – not be distracting
- Tips and advice from people with dementia are as important as
information about gadgets.
Getting equipped to tackle forgetfulness
– top tips guide launched
joined up with the Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST) and Trent
Dementia Services Development Centre to produce this free booklet.
The guide reflects the real experiences, views and voices of people
with dementia, their family and friends, who were involved in its development.
Their insights helped us to ensure that the booklet is honest, practical
and easy to understand
We especially want to thank the staff and people with dementia who are
part of telecare services at Selwood Housing in Trowbridge.
Please distribute this booklet to anyone who may be interested
The booklet is ony available to download as a PDF document
equipped to tackle forgetfulness (6MB)
Please feel free to get the booklet professionally printed, please download
these high resolution versions
equipped to tackle forgetfulness - for print (15MB)
equipped to tackle forgetfulness - for print (no crops) (15MB)
People with dementia and
computers – a successful project completed
In November 2007, Innovations in Dementia and Dementia
Voice-Housing 21 received funding from the NESTA Mental Health Innovation
challenge to run a project around computer use.
Two projects were run at day centres in London and Manchester.
We trained and supported care staff to increase their skills and confidence
with everyday software such as PowerPoint, Word and Internet Explorer.
The project ended in December 2008, and has shown that people with dementia
can engage in computer work at many different
The computers were used in activities such as reminiscence
and art, and for making records of activities such as outings and parties.
People with dementia and staff had fun:
- creating artwork,
- searching the internet and using YouTube to find their favourite
- creating presentations in PowerPoint about their lives or activities
at the day centre,
- and using Word to create cards for friends and relatives.
The project found that the skills and sensitivity of staff are the most
important factor in encouraging people with dementia to use computers.
on Communities - using different computer technologies
Innovations in Dementia is part of an interesting project called Switched
The project is run by a charity called AbilityNet. AbilityNet provides
information and advice about how to make computers easier to use for people
with any sort of disability.
You can find out more about AbilityNet at www.abilitynet.org.uk
or you can telephone them on 0800 269545.
Different equipment for different people
The Switched on Communities project allowed us to let people with dementia
try out different types of equipment. We worked with people at the Tresham
Housing21 day centre in Westminster and the computer club at the Hounslow
branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.
People are surprised about the choice of equipment that is available.
Innovations in Dementia CIC, PO Box 616, Exeter, EX1
Telephone 01392 420076
Registered as a community interest company No. 06046815.
Find out more about community interest companies
© Innovations in dementia CIC 2008