With Ed Fitzgerald
Date: Tuesday, July 11th, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Danbury Hospital Creasy Auditorium
At the DACS July General Meeting, Ed Fitzgerald, digital marketing and technology consultant to small businesses, and a former DACS member, will speak on the subject of using the iPad with a person living with Dementia.
Ed will describe the approach he developed to using the iPad after his wife, Diane, was diagnosed with Frontotemporal degeneration, a dementia that produces “gradual, progressive decline in behavior and/or language.” His goals were simple: Find a way to engage her in activities so they could enjoy their time together, stimulate her mind, elicit a response from her, get her to smile, laugh, bring her out of her shell and create moments of joy.
Dementia is a very big and growing problem, not only in the United States but worldwide. While Alzheimer’s Disease is the most well-known and the most prevalent form of dementia, there are various other kinds recognized by the medical profession – frontotemporal degeneration is a leading one. The scale of the dementia problem is staggering – according to Alzheimer’s Association statistics, Medicare and Medicaid spend in excess of $150 billion yearly for health care, long-term care, and hospice care of patients with dementia. But the majority of dementia care is delivered at home by family members, so the total, real cost is incalculable.
According to research conducted by the RAND Corporation, the total cost of dementia care in the U.S. will double by 2040.
Ed’s presentation will focus on how home-based care givers can use technology to better communicate with loved ones who are suffering from dementia.
Ed will talk about how he started with his desktop, then laptop and his realization that the mouse and keyboard approach would not work. His research discovered that some assisted living facilities had begun to use the iPad. Starting with a set of five apps, Ed created a home screen of activities combining apps, links, games, videos, pictures and more.
They include an app to create and decorate pottery, a drawing app where Ed draws stick figures of the grandkids and adds messages from Grandma and then emails then to the kids, a garden app where they grow flowers, cut them into a bouquet and email them to family members with a note attached, entertainment apps that go back in time, like YouTube videos of Carol Burnett shows, Diane’s favorite music, podcasts of a favorite NPR show, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and books she can listen to from Audible.com. They use FaceTime to talk with other family members.
Ed uses the iPad as well, during visits at the assisted living facility where his wife resides, to keep himself occupied, giving them something to do together and extending the visits.
The presentation will also suggest ways that an iPad can be used by recreational therapists and other staff members of assisted living facilities.
DACS General Meetings are free and open to the public. Members and prior attendees are encouraged to extend invitations to anyone interested in this topic.
DACS holds its general meetings at Danbury Hospital, most often in the Creasy Auditorium, but occasionally in the Robilotti Conference Center across the hall from the auditorium. There is plenty of free parking in the Rizzo guest parking garage adjacent to the auditorium. (Go to https://dacs.org to find directions and parking information).
Special note: General Meetings are normally held on the first Tuesday of each month. In July, the meeting will take place on the second Tuesday: July 11th.