Google Earth and YouTube are helping younger people with dementia retain their life skills, experts at Care UK have discovered.
Julius Adesanya, activities co-ordinator at Forrester Court (Paddington) explained: “Thanks to greater awareness, we are seeing more and more younger people being diagnosed with early onset dementia across our centres.
“People coming into care services now use laptops and smart phones, so we decided to start making more of technology so we can really tailor sessions to the individual.”
Staff are using Google Earth to show people where they used to live. Julius said: “It is a wonderful resource because people see pubs where they used to meet their friends, places they worked and schools they went to. It triggers memories and they begin to reminisce. This helps them to maintain their cognitive and verbal skills.”
YouTube is used to tailor entertainment for each person and some of the older residents have been delighted at the footage of entertainers from yesteryear.
Orchard Centre (Epsom) manager Elaine Carruthers says this is the way forward for dementia care. She said: “Everyone with dementia is different and every dementia progresses differently, so the key is truly personalised care. Years ago, when everyone in a home with dementia was over 75 years old, a Vera Lynn sing-along would have been popular with most people. Now we have more and more people in their 50s - they are more into Dire Straits.”