I am excited to announce that in two weeks the Mid-Stage Cards App will be available in the Google Play Store for android devices! It’s a free app so you can simply download it and you will be ready to go. The Late-Stage Cards App will follow later in 2015.
In testing the Apps with our generous caregiver/users we have learned several things that might help you get started.
- The Cards Apps will work best on a tablet, NOT a phone. Most phones have screens that are too small to view the cards properly.
- Individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia often prefer the physical quality of the cards (which they can actually hold and play with) versus the abstractness of viewing a phone or pad screen unless working directly with a caregiver to guide them through the sequence of steps required to find a specific card.
- Because the Cards’ Apps allow a caregiver fast access to any subject and any specific card, they are often better for caregiver directed communications. If you want to determine why someone is not feeling well the Apps let you zoom quickly to a set of specific topics and select the most appropriate one.
- Introduce the Cards or the Card Apps like you would a game or magazine. Better communication will come with familiarity and a regular protocol (such a playing a favorite piece of music when you bring out the Сards). Many of our caregivers struggled initially with how to introduce them as “communication tools” and then had trouble using them because the whole idea of managing communications can be very challenging. I recommend that you not worry about any of this. Introduce them casually and then let the communication potential develop over time.
Typically, people in the mid and late-stages of Alzheimer’s spend a good deal of time being bored. A few minutes of real “listening” done in a somewhat regular manner can open a priceless window into their world. The Cards and the Cards Apps can help.