Dementia among the elderly is a very common issue. It’s estimated that at least 25% of all caregivers for adults over 50 are caring for someone with cognitive impairment or dementia.
While this is a sobering statistic, research shows that the use of iPads in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s can improve cognitive, mobility and communication skills. In fact, brain-boosting games and apps have been found to improve multi-tasking ability, memory and focus. These cognitive benefits gradually integrate into everyday life, according to Alzheimers.net.
There are several benefits to using iPad apps. They:
- Are lightweight
- Are interactive
- Offer a new, refreshing approach to learning
- Can monitor the movements, habits and temperatures of dementia patients
- Can trigger memories through music
- Give more opportunity to interact with family members that they may not see very often
- Encourage creativity and mobility
So, which iPad apps are the best?
Let’s take a look. In general, apps that help with cognition, memory, attention span, reminders and even relaxation are considered the best for dementia patients.
Labyrinth 2 HD
Keeping the brain active is a top goal with any iPad app for those with dementia. That’s why Labyrinth 2 HD is so great. It exercises the brain with a variety of levels that vary in complexity. Start off with very easy levels that allow users to navigate mazes. Then advance to more complex ones that have more challenges such as holes and cannons.
To encourage creativity in users, this app allows users to let their inner artist out with a simple-to-use platform. You can doodle, you can draw, you can paint — whatever it takes to bring your ideas to life!
This app encourages relaxation and peace, something that calms dementia patients greatly. You can customize your very own pond, choosing which creatures will reside there. From lily pads and fully interactive fish to stereo sound effects and ambient background noise. iFish Pond puts you in control of your own beautiful pond setting. You can even make ripples in the water and fish for bass with the virtual fishing rod.
Let’s Create! Pottery
With a simple touch, you can smooth out the sides of your own clay creation as it spins on the virtual wheel. Offering a relaxing, therapeutic experience, it’s easy and satisfying, You can create your own collection of pots, vases and more in a variety of sizes.
The dementia patient is never alone with MindMate. Always standing by to provide entertainment, this app offers a variety of games designed to enhance memory, speed, problem solving, and attention span. There are also reminders to brush teeth, eat healthy and much more.
All of these apps can be found on Apple’s iPad for free or at a low cost. Finally, it’s important to remember that while these apps have benefits, they cannot replace the value of interaction with others. Or other daily activities and care offered by assisted living facilities.