Alzheimer's Society Innovation Hub

Losing key abilities

Lots of people with dementia are afraid that being stuck in the house with limited social interaction and lack of opportunity to continue practicing existing skills (such as getting the bus independently) will mean they lose these skill by the end of coronavirus. Emphasis on losing ability to speak.

edited on May 5, 2020 by Natasha Morgan
Alice Billin

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Jennifer Bute 6 months ago

I believe these skills can be relearnt or re-emerge. Those able to make or receive phone calls can still talk. I have been surprised here in my dementia inclusive village how much those living with dementia talk to themselves ! When walking around by themselves or in their rooms as if giving a running commentary. This of course is not the same as having a conversation. I know there are 'robot' parrots that will have an interactive conversation with their 'owner' which are a great joy to some. Even joining in a sing a long would be good..... I have an Alexa and you can talk to her or sing with her !! OK I know it is not the same but anything that can help is to be embraced in these difficult times

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Natasha Morgan 6 months ago

Thank you, Alice, for sharing that challenge, and for your suggestions, Jennifer. I have also heard people express similar concerns around losing the ability to drive or get about independently. Does anyone have thoughts on this, or know of solutions which might help?

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Paul Haynes 6 months ago

Assistant / Speaker technologies can greatly assist in engagement and interaction and connection to the outside world in times of isolation. They are designed to be interactive, and have many features that can help with engagement and learning. Education of the features available could help, also in understanding whats happening in the outside world, i.e. Hey G is XXXX open today, is the bus running today etc....

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Margaret Booth 5 months ago

How do you feel about chat bots. These are computer apps that are programmed to respond to questions and, well, chat, not a genuine communication but if one is really needing to practise just talking that might be an option. It’s a question of whether it is just a technical problem of remembering sentence construction and practising or whether there needs to be a real personal interaction and how to tell the difference. What do people think?

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