Using ICT in activities for people with dementia
Person-centred dementia care
- SCIE Dementia gateway – Offers many resources, including e-learning, focused on dementia and dementia care.
General ICT skills
- BBC Webwise – The BBC’s online introduction to computers covers using the internet, using email and safety and privacy issues.
- Digital Unite – A company that specialises in accessible technology and runs programmes like Silver Surfers day, and offers a range of free guides on topics such as email, Skype, internet security, social media.
- YouTube – A good source of video tutorials on many aspects of ICTs, often aimed at the non-expert.
Support and advice on equipment and software
- ICT Knowledgebase – Run by technology charity Lasa, this is a good source of independent advice on computer hardware and software questions, as well as policy and good practice.
- PC Advisor – A commercial website, companion to the high street magazine of the same name, offering free reviews and technical advice across a range of issues.
- IT4Communities – A charity that helps other charities and community groups find volunteers to help with their IT needs.
- Charity Technology Exchange (CTX) – CTX matches requests for IT equipment from charities with donations from IT suppliers.
- Media Trust – Runs a scheme matching media professionals such as film-makers and photographers with charities wanting help with projects and services.
- AT Dementia – Provides information on assistive technologies (AT) that can help people with dementia live more independently. It also offers a self-help guide to AT, designed to help individuals work out what products might be of assistance.
- Disabled Living Foundation – These websites offer a range of information about all kinds of AT, including AT for computers: Living made easy and All About Equipment.
- AbilityNet – Specialises in AT for computers, as well as offering help in using mainstream computers in the most accessible way possible. Their My computer my way guide is a useful non-technical introduction to AT for computers.
Useful websites to support activities with people with dementia
- Jigsaws (e.g. Jigzone.com)
- Sudoku (e.g. the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada post a new sudoku on their website every day), and
- Crosswords (e.g. the Crossword Network).
- Apps – Memory apps for dementia includes reviews of games apps that are particularly suitable for people with dementia.
Free movies can be found on a number of websites,
Photography and film-making
- Digital Unite has a guide on how to make a slideshow:
- Innovations in Dementia has a guide on film-making with people with dementia.
- IRISS has produced an introduction to making short life story films:
Word processing and slide presentations
You will probably have common office software for word processing or creating presentations and slideshows on your computers. But if you do not, Libre Office is a free alternative.
- YouTube – A great source of all kinds of video clips for getting conversations going. www.youtube.com
- Google Maps and Street View
- BBC Archive – Has themed collections of radio, TV, documents and photos going back to the 1930s.
- British Library Sound Archive – Includes music drama, literature and oral history.
Specialist guidance and training
- Alive! A charity based in South West England that offers activity sessions using ICTs. It also runs training courses for staff and carers.
- Innovations in Dementia – A community interest company that offers training to care organisations in using computers for activities with people with dementia.
- National Association for the Providers of Activities for older people – A membership organisation for anyone interested in increasing activity opportunities for older people in care settings (not specific to the use of ICTs).
- Savitch, N. and Stokes, V. (2011). We can do IT too: using computers in activity programmes for people with dementia, London: Speechmark
- A practical book with detailed advice on using computers for recording people’s lives, making things, communicating with friends and family and personal planning. It can be purchased from: Speechmark.