Ipads for people with dementia

this image shows and ipad and someones hand


Technology is helping people of all ages and abilities and ipads for people with dementia are a great tool.

iPad engage, funded by Arts Council England and Crowdfunder UK has been providing sessions in four care settings for older people in the NE of England. Being run by the charity Abbeyfield, the residents are using the ipad to write poetry, paint and communicate.

The project was founded by Claire Ford who found that using ipads for people with dementia was stimulating for them and allowed then to engage.The simplicity of the device with no keyboard or mouse made it easier to learn how to use for someone who was not used to computers.

ipadsfor people with dementia are also particularly suitable as they can play music and there is a variety of apps that are multisensory. They offer both audio and visual stimulation in an easy to access format.

ipads and other tablet devices have become increasingly popular with the range of Apps allowing users to draw, write, take photos, have a video conversation etc.

Here are 5 top apps for the ipad and someone with dementia

  • iFish Pond  This app is great for people who enjoyed fishing when younger and is an all-round sensory experience for any individual. With the volume turned on, realistic water sounds are created every time the screen is touched. You can also use a virtual fishing rod to ‘go fishing’ by touching the screen. If you get a bite, drag your finger across the screen in a circular motion to ‘reel in’ your catch. Care home residents have loved the realistic appearance of this app and because it’s very gentle and easy to use, it’s ideal for individuals with advanced dementia
  • Let’s Create pottery  (I love this one !) with this app, you can touch the screen to make pottery but throwing clay on a virtual wheel. You can smooth the sides of the pots by dragging your finger across the screen and create a collection of pots of different shapes and sizes. This app creates a relaxing, therapeutic experience for individuals with dementia, particularly those who have creative interests.
  • YouTube YouTube is an enormous collection of short videos which can be easily searched for and played. Everything from film clips to old news reels to pieces of music can be found on YouTube and this allows participants to request what they would like to see.
  • FlowerGarden One of the best things about iPad apps is that they can play a part in bringing back activities which participants have missed from years gone by. FlowerGarden allows you to pick virtual seeds, plant them, water them and watch them grow. This is especially significant for participants who used to enjoy growing plants and are missing their former gardens.
  • Augment  is an app which builds a 3D object, animal or person and, using the iPad camera, puts it in the room so that if you look at the screen (or the projector screen if the iPad is plugged in to it), you see everything just as it was before but there is a new object in the room.

Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment Mary and I hope you get to read this at some point when your boy friend brings in a gadget for you to use. If you get the hang of texting you will be able to send messages to him all the time.My youngest sister taught me and now I cant imagine life not texting !! The ipads are also great for children/adults with severe disabilities, only yesterday I saw a lad who was very disabled using an I pad.

  2. I’m very interested in this project. I’m in a care home but my boyfriend brings all kinds of gadgets to try out. I’ve enjoyed using his laptop and ipad. Wish I had one of my own. He’s teaching me to txt at the moment on an old iPhone 3GS. He’s installed an extra large keyboard app on it. I’ve also played Angry Birds on it. Lots of fun!

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