The Gift of Technology

Henry and Frank holding iPad
Thanks to the Retired Teachers of Ontario Grant, Frank Edwards and Henry Duncan reap the benefits of using an iPad for brain health

Thanks to funding from the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO), the Alzheimer Society of Oxford’s Volunteer Companion Program has 7 new iPads to be used as an activity option during Volunteer Companion visits.

The Volunteer Companion Program Coordinator speaks with both the caregiver and/or the individual with dementia and their Volunteer Companion to identify the individual’s interests, past experiences, cultural background as well as their preferred language just to name a few. Specific apps (applications) are then loaded onto the iPad, the Volunteer Companion is trained and weekly companionship visits are enhanced through the gift of technology!

Ipad training with Celia
Volunteer Companion Celia Orth is trained by Volunteer Companion Program Coordinator Robyn Owen

iPads offer tremendous benefits; stimulating conversations, for example, and engaging the auditory and visual senses of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.  Listening to a hymn can retrieve memories from church services long ago; watching short videos of construction crews hard at work can trigger conversations with a retired foreman and listening to short stories read by a Volunteer Companion can reduce stress. The app options are endless!  

Volunteer Companion Henry Duncan and his match Frank Edwards have recently incorporated the use of an iPad during their visits. Apps of interest include brain games, a Popular Mechanics magazine, TED talks, birds of Canada guide with photos and calls as well as gardening and classical violin apps. When asked how he feels about incorporating the use of technology during companion visits, Frank had this to say, “If it’ll help, that’s great because you need all the help you can get.”

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Robyn Owen at 519-421-2466 ext. 237, toll free at 1-877-594-2368 or email [email protected].

Last Updated: 05/10/2019