Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, “Here we are!”? (Job 38:35 NKJV)
On 8th August 2017 the daily devotional “The Word for Today” listed the above Bible verse, and then commented:
“The Bible predicted modern telecommunications. Does that sound incredible to you? If so, consider this verse: ‘Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, “Here we are!”? Fifteen hundred years before Christ, in the book of Job, God said that light could be sent, and manifest itself in speech … The fact that light can be sent and translated into speech wasn’t discovered by science until 1864 – nearly 3,300 years later – [by] British scientist James Clerk Maxwell … Samuel Morse, who invented the first telegraph and forever changed the world of communication, was a Bible-believing Christian”.
While I’m not necessarily convinced by the commentary, I am convinced that the world of communication has been changed forever. This blog, with the ability to include links to audio and video and documents, can be seen by anyone anywhere in the world.
One of the great things about modern technology is the rise of the App (short for Application). Did you know that there are quite a number of useful Apps on the Apple iPad to help people understand dementia?
These Apps include the Alzheimer’s Australia site, different kinds of Apps to train the brain (“ BrainyApp” and “MindMate”), a great site for Carers called “Care4Dementia”, an App to help us understand lots of the world’s cultures (“Cultura”), and Apps to help compile life stories (“Grey Matters” and “House of Memories”).
If you use your imagination, some of the standard Apple Apps can be used with people living with dementia. For example, use “Google Earth” to find the person’s childhood town or even house, and show them what it looks like! That’s a powerful memory trigger.
A fun App called “Photo Booth” is great for a laugh – and laughter is sometimes the best medicine!
Sometimes we might hear a song and don’t know what it is. Try out “Sound Hound”.
As photos and music can be used so powerfully, why not create a short video with uploaded photos and music? Try using “Splice”. If you’d like an instruction manual for that please ask me. This was produced by two Macquarie University PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) students.
It’s obvious, but worth reminding you, that ”YouTube” is a great source of clips. One day I was leading musical reminiscence. One of our Hostel residents asked me if I’d ever heard a song called “Your feet’s too big”. I hadn’t. A quick search on my iPhone found a YouTube video. I played the audio through the PA system. The resident began to cry. She said that she used to sing it to her son when he was a baby. She hadn’t sung since. She was in her 90’s and her son is almost 70! Reminiscence can be that simple.
That’s a great list, so in July 2017 I put it on paper. I suggest that you print off this PDF, and if you have an iPad (or iPhone) install some of the (free) Apps. (If you have an Android phone or tablet try and find the Apps by name through the appropriate Store. That’s beyond me).
There’s no doubt that technology is a wonderful tool for journeying with those living with dementia. Try some of these Apps. Let me know how you go – and let me know of any others you find.