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Today we visited the first family participating in our pilot through Trinity Village. Our first participant is a 92-year-old woman living in their assisted living facility. Today she was able to hold the tablet and watch a recorded video of herself. She was very excited to see her own face and in the video said "Looking good! Feeling good!". I was told she is a regular Facebook and video chat user to communicate with her 4 children who live in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. I will be meeting with her each week for the next two months to try using the video to help with her chosen activity of daily living.

Hi Ngozi,

Thank you for your thoughtful questions as well! The most important thing that we learned during this challenge was whether or not the person with dementia operates the the technology themselves, giving caregivers a tool to mediate communication improves life for everyone. We know that the number one reason a person transitions from home to long-term care in North America is caregiver burnout, so any tool that improves the ability of the caregiver to cope with changes and reduce stress will also improve the quality of life for a person with dementia.

Simply allowing caregivers to explain a task without repeating themselves and without having to fight to maintain a calm voice saves so many daily struggles and fights. The first time we showed this technique to a wife who was caring for her husband she said, "I feel like we are unstuck from a rut.". Sameer and I have dedicated our careers to show families this and other techniques to cope with caregiving because we know how great the challenge is and we believe that with better tools and training we will change lives.

Look forward to speaking with you more over email!

Krysta

Thanks Molly! I saw an article just yesterday that Facebook is also planning to release something similar. I think in the next few years we will have a lot more options for communications.

Sameer Khan brought a Nest cam and another webcam with him to India yesterday so we can keep track of his mom at home there. As more and more caregivers are living in different cities (and even different countries!) than their loved ones I think we will see people getting creative about how to help from afar. We were really thankful last week that we were able to live chat with the hospital in India and call an ambulance all the way from Canada! Sharing our solutions and ideas across borders will inspire new tools and techniques for caregiving.