A Better Visit aims to assist in the creation of enjoyable shared experiences for people living with dementia and their visitors (anyone of their support network) through a collection of small games designed to be played together. The games emphasize content creation and positive feedback through familiar activities, sounds and visuals to stimulate memories and spark social interaction.
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. Dont necessarily insist on playing according to rules.
Engage in conversations. Ask one question at a time (even if there are several listed). Dont leave all the questions to your co-player; show initiative and tell some stories yourself.
A Better Visit has been realised as a collaboration between Dementia Australia, Lifeview Residential Care and Swinburne University of Technologys Future Self and Design Living Lab. The interactive games have been developed 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.