A Better Visit is a free to download app for iPads featuring a range of two-player games designed to enhance communication and facilitate positive social interactions between people with dementia and their visitors.
The app is designed to help families have a ‘Better Visit’ with their family member living in residential care. Often family members struggle to interact and engage with a family member who no longer recognises them. This application assists with engaging the family members and results in a ‘Better Visit’ for everyone.
Suggested game guidelines.
Share the experience as much as possible. While you may need to explain games and read out questions try to play together as equal players. Engage your co-player as much as possible by demonstrating, gently guiding, encouraging and turn taking.
Find the right activity at the right time. There might be games one of you is not interested in or days where an activity away from the iPad is preferred. This is ok and should be respected.
Be flexible and explorative. There is no right or wrong way to play, or requirement to complete games. Come up with ways that engage both of you, the main purpose is to have fun together or engage in a conversation prompted by the visuals or music. Don’t necessarily insist on playing according to rules.
Engage in conversations. Ask one question at a time (even if there are several listed). Don’t leave all the questions to your co-player; show initiative and tell some stories yourself.
A Better Visit has been developed in collaboration by Dementia Australia, Lifeview Residential Care and Swinburne University of Technology’s Future Self and Design Living Lab. The interactive games were designed in a co-creative process with people living with moderate and advanced dementia and their visitors.
Special thanks to all participating residents, families and Lifeview staff who helped in co-designing and evaluating the app.