Last week I was working at the 2nd North Wales Dementia Meetup (#DementiaNWales). I will blog more about that when I get a chance, and there will be a lot of video content to catch up with soon. But, in the mean time…
I ran a couple of sessions about using technology to make life easier for people with Dementia. In one of the sessions there was an appeal to find a Dementia-friendly group video conferencing app so people can keep in touch with each other.
Personally, I think it must be the case that something suitable already exists. A few months ago I would have confidently said that I think Blab is the one. But then Blab was closed down.
So, is there one that exists, or do we need to invent it? Google Hangouts has been significantly simplified in recent months, but still, when I tried to use it with a group with low levels of digital skills, the majority struggled to access it. Another candidate is HouseParty, an app recently launched by the founders of the demised live streaming app, Meerkat. Would either of these do the job? Or, of course, there is always Skype, tried and trusted to many now, and offering group video chat as a relatively recent development.
I’d be very interested in people’s views (please leave a comment below) on what the issues are for people with Dementia in accessing group video chat, and whether any of the apps I have suggested might do the job, or does the perfect tool need to be created?
This is another post about a great event I was fortunate enough to be part of in late November last year.
The Dementia North Wales event was truly inspirational as it gave a voice to people living with dementia. People with dementia were in the room contributing to the discussions and helping to design solutions, and people with dementia were on the platform recounting their experiences, and detailing how their condition affected their lives, as well as describing their frustrations with the professionals who often failed to treat them in sympathetic ways.
And here’s the overview video I produced of the day, which I hope captures at least a little of the uplifting mood of the day
Not long before Christmas I had the pleasure of working with Fran O’Hara and Pam Luckock of Working With Not To social reporting and videoing at their Dementia Co-Production event in Llandudno.
It was a truly inspirational event, and I was very glad to play my part in helping people to get their own stories about living with their own Dementia and that of their loved ones out to the wider world. It was a really illuminating day, and it demonstrated that it is a much more effective methodology to get people to tell their own stories rather than giving the floor solely to the opinions of professionals. The material from the day is still in production, but I have taken the opportunity to present some snippets within this post.
I believe that the power of the internet to bring people with similar issues together, and the availability of digital tools to enable people to tell their stories are powerful mechanisms for assisting people to take control of their own health, influence their treatments, and increase understanding of the development of conditions. And it is true that, in some cases, digital inclusion is an issue in this respect as people need to be introduced to the internet and its possibilities, before it becomes a tool to improve their health and wellbeing.
I’ve got previous experience of this when I worked with Clinical Commissioning Groups in South and East Cheshire to collect some patient stories.
There is not enough of this kind of thing happening in my opinion. So I now want to organise a national event on this issue, i.e. Digital Storytelling for Health and Wellbeing. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to be involved in this event, either as a service user, a health and care professional, a storyteller, or a technologist. Let’s build a movement which gets people’s health stories out to the world.