In a “happy accident,” one Orange County, Florida, nursing home facility has found that the iPad 2 is helping dementia residents reclaim some of their memory, motor, and social skills.
Although devices that monitor movements, habits and temperature have been used in nursing homes for years, the iPad is one of the first high-tech devices to truly interact with residents.
After a year of using the iPad 2 tablet PC many memory care residents have become more engaged in nursing home activities.
Well designed for older users who may not be able to use a mouse and keyboard, the tablet has also helped many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients interact more with other residents and visitors.
The Winter Garden, Florida, nursing home that reported the findings says that staff members have noted that while other technology has helped to improve residents’ monitoring and safety, few tools have been as successful in getting the elderly residents to interact with nursing home activities or with other residents.
According to an article examining the findings, “These devices have an increased potential to aid people in preserve their memory. They can monitor progress and, in a way, back you up,” said technology researcher Tony Marsh, Ph.D., a health and exercise-science professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina who, in 2010, helped develop the Mobility Assessment Tool for the iPad.