An interactive game app released by Dementia Australia aims to help families connect with their loved ones who are living with dementia.
The app, A Better Visit, consists of a range of interactive two-player games. The games have been designed to encourage positive social interactions between those with dementia and their family members.
Some of the games include bowling, washing windows, tic tac tango and marble maze. The games were designed with the input of people living with moderate to advanced dementia and their family and friends.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said family members often say that they don’t know how to communicate and interact with a loved one who has dementia.
“Family members, children and friends start to withdraw and perhaps become less likely to include the person with dementia in everyday activities or schedule in regular visits,” Ms McCabe said.
“Over time this social isolation can have a profound impact on the person with dementia and the primary carers. A report by Dementia Australia found that 60% of people said they didn’t know what to say to someone with dementia.
“By playing the games in the app, carers and other family members will be inspired to engage with the person with dementia.”
Tips for interacting with a loved one with dementia through app gameplay
The interactive app features have been designed to spark conversation and laughter. Adjustable speeds, appropriate music and easy-to-use buttons mean that even those that aren’t tech savvy can join in the fun.
Tips for using the app
- Share the experience and learn the game together. Allow room for the person with dementia to explore the game at their own pace.
- Find the right activity at the right time. There may be days where an activity offline would be preferable.
- Engage in conversations. Ask questions and tell stories sparked by the gameplay.
- Be flexible and explorative. There is no right or wrong way to play. Work with your loved one to find a way that works for you.