Study reveals iPads have ‘substantial potential’ to improve quality of life for people in care homes

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Anchor-care industry newsAnchor Inspires is an innovative model of care for people living with dementia.  It provides a truly person-centred approach to understanding and enhancing the lives of people living with dementia, which includes providing tailored environments, high quality staff training and inspiring meaningful activity for residents.

The Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester has carried out the largest study of its kind to understand how iPads can be used to enhance quality of life for people with dementia

The care model concept is based on theories and research from around the globe as well as existing best practice in Anchor care homes.  Anchor’s in-house dementia experts have developed the innovative model, which includes 55 indicators to assess outstanding dementia care.

 

In the first systematic roll-out of iPads in care homes, Anchor has introduced tablets to 63 of its care homes across England

 

Zahid Khan who has overseen the iPads project at Anchor said: “iPads in care homes are a vital, life enhancing resource for people living with dementia. Tablets built to the right technical specification and used by trained carers, can have a positive impact on the quality of someone’s life. Working with Activity Co-ordinators in Anchor’s care homes has enabled me to see some ‘magic moments’ first-hand, where someone can see their grandchild for the first time [over Skype] or when a former pianist living with arthritis can play again using a music app.”

 

Findings demonstrate the benefits of introducing and using touchscreen technology in care settings

Researchers identified a range of positive outcomes for residents with dementia including increased interaction, greater inclusion and improved communication with relatives. Anchor’s dedicated Activity Co-ordinators play an essential role in ensuring the iPads are used effectively.

 

Case studies:

  • The Activity Co-ordinator in one care home was able to fulfil the final wish of one resident by setting up a video call on the iPad. The resident “got to see his daughter and grandchild” two days before he passed away.
  • Music helps one resident in terms of improving her mood, “especially if she’s a bit down”. Engagement through music is enhanced by the iPad by making it easier to personalise music choices or respond to requests.
  • One resident became agitated and wanted to leave their care home to return to their own house. The Activity Co-ordinator was able to use the iPad to look up where the resident had lived previously and show them their house and surrounding area using Google Maps. This helped to settle the resident and trigger positive memories and conversations.

 

Anchor and the University of Worcester have published a guide with advice on the best ways to use iPads to help care for people living with dementia. This is available to download at anchor.org.uk/ipads

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