CARE TEAM TALBETS

The Care Team Tablet solution is a natural treatment option for dementia symptoms - specially designed to help home care organizations collaborate with their client's loved ones.

How It Works

Step 1 for Care Team Tablets
Step 2 of Care Team Tablets
Step 3 to Care Team Tablets
Seniors Using Tablets for Engagement Activities

Step 1: Share the Care Team Connect App

Invite loved ones to download a free app designed to support personalized engagement and care team collaboration.

A Family Onboarding Process Designed to Support Personalized Dementia Care

  • Photos - Help people reminisce and feel connected with images of friends and family.
  • Topics - Converse about life passions and memories to help strengthen feelings of purpose and identity.  
  • Music - Enhance mood and help people feel connected to meaningful life experiences through personalized music.
Care Team Connect Family Survey Screens

Step 2: Assign the Tablet 

Use the Care Team Connect app to assign clients to managed iPads and seamlessly sync content.

iPads customized for client engagement and managed for HIPAA compliance

  • Personalize for Clients - Sync family insights and photos.
  • Secure Login - Limit access to client profiles, and manage team activity.
  • Customize with Apps - Browse a curated library of gerontologist recommended apps for engagement.

Step 3: Work as a Team 

Keep families involved by sharing updates from engagement sessions.

A Mobile App that Connects the Team and Inspires Engagement

  • Expand the Care Team - Invite loved ones to join the team. 
  • Share Moments - Allow caregivers to share special moments or enjoyable activities as updates.  
  • Follow Care Team Updates - View the client engagement feed for updates from loved ones and caregivers.
Care Team Connect Mobile App Feed

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

Tablet Kits

  • Preconfigured iPad
  • Protective case
  • Portable speaker
  • Headphones
  • Co-branded Packaging
Tablet Kit with Speaker and Headphones

Apps & Training Resources

  • Customized apps for managers, caregivers, and loved ones
  • Dedicated Implementation Team 
  • Email and phone support
  • Online training courses
  • On-demand guides & resources

Enhance Care with Tablets

Schedule a demonstration to learn how your care organization can improve outcomes for clients, families, and caregivers.

Schedule a Demonstration
Customized iPad Home Screen and iPhone with Care Team Connect app

TABLETS FOR HOME CARE

Personalizing the Care Experience

Connecting families and home care providers through personally meaningful music, photos, and videos.

Learn How It Works

What is a Care Team Tablet?


A tablet that's customized for a care recipient with content and set up with apps to help home care teams personalize engagement.

Why use a tablet?


Music, photos, and videos can nurture meaningful connections between caregivers and care recipients.

How are they customized?


The Care Team Connect mobile app allows loved ones to remotely share stories and content to a dedicated tablet.

Dementia Care Takes a Team Effort

How can teams personalize care?

Making meaningful engagement part of the care routine can enhance caregiver relationships and help clients with Alzheimer’s or related dementias feel like themselves.

Music Playlist Icon

Music Playlists

Listening to personalized music improves mood and communication for people living with dementia.

Video Reminiscing Icon

Reminiscence Therapy

Watching videos can help caregivers spark conversation or encourage relaxation through familiar sights and sounds.

Family Communication Icon

Family Connections

Communicating with family members and sharing photos can help caregivers keep care recipients connected with loved ones.

Research & Case Studies 

The Care Team Tablet solution was developed in collaboration with innovative care organizations and research partners. A white paper by the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzes clinical outcomes, while detailed client case studies demonstrate business outcomes for home care.

Learn More
Care Recipient Using Tablet
Daughter Helps Elderly Father with Tablet

Family Resources 

Successful care teams are often lead by engaged family caregivers. Our team has developed videos, articles, and how-to guides to help family caregivers learn about dementia care engagement. 

Tablet Engagement Outcomes

Our team has been honored to partner with a wide variety of care organizations, non-profits, trade organizations, and private foundations to measure the impact of tablet engagement.

CASE STUDIES

Client case studies demonstrate clinical and business outcomes for home care organizations, including:

  • Client mood and quality of life
  • Caregiver turnover
  • Challenging behaviors
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Client Length of Stay

Tablet Engagement Whitepaper 

University of Wisconsin-Madison: School of Pharmacy Logo

This whitepaper report was developed by the University of Wisconsin to study the use of tablet computers as an alternative to mood management for dementia care.

Researchers analyzed over 1,000 surveys from healthcare professionals that deployed Care Team tablets, and concluded that there are “unequivocal therapeutic benefits of iPad use for music and other approaches.”

Printed copy of Tablet Engagement Dementia Care Whitepaper

Impact of iPad Utilization on Older Adult Moods and Caregiver Interactions

FAMILY RESOURCES

Animated Videos on Dementia Care

The progression of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia often results in memory loss symptoms that can be unpredictable and troubling.  

Many families that are new to dementia have difficulties with these situations. The following videos have been designed to provide guidance and insights for those providing care.

Cartoon Characters from Videos About Dementia

The Good News About Dementia Care

Activities that require conscious thought or effort become more difficult for people with dementia, but the good news is that we can still connect through music, emotions, and beauty.

Music for Alzheimer’s & Dementia 

Humans have been tapping into the healing powers of music for thousands of years. Emerging research demonstrates the therapeutic benefits of music for people living with dementia. 

Caregiver's Guide to Music & Dementia

Using music as part of a caregiver routine can improve quality of life, and help family caregivers prevent and lessen stressful situations. 

The Caregiver’s Guide to Music & Dementia provides step-by-step instructions for exploring music, saving playlists, and establishing a music care plan.

printed copy of music for dementia caregivers guide

Dementia Care Articles 

Our team shares personal stories, dementia care insights, and tips for using music, videos, and family communications to keep loved ones engaged and connected.

Computer with Dementia Care Article

WHAT WE BELIEVE

  • People living with dementia can still enjoy life.  
  • Non-drug approaches are the most effective option for easing difficult symptoms.  
  • Caregivers need support and guidance on how to make meaningful connections.  
  • Technology can help caregivers personalize care with music, photos, and videos.

"People do not stop experiencing things, just because they stop remembering them."


- Judy Cornish, Dementia Author

THE TEAM

Debby Dodds

Team Gerontologist

Debby Dodds has a Masters of Gerontology in Aging Services from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and is an employed family caregiver of her mother who is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Dodds joined the Generation Connect team in 2016.

She is an early pioneer in the use of tablets for personalized engagement with people that are living with dementia. Her family is spread out geographically, and they use a variety of devices and apps to help her mom stay connected to her favorite people and memories. She is passionate about helping other care professionals leverage everyday technology to provide more personalized care.


Michael Potteiger

Co-Founder

Michael co-founded Generation Connect with his sister Nacole in 2013. He was inspired to pursue a career in aging, after teaching his 85-year-old grandmother how to use an iPad. He still FaceTimes his Gram regularly.  

Michael has spent his entire career working in technology consulting, and leverages his knowledge of mobile device deployment, eLearning design, data collection, and project management to help care organizations deploy tablets.


Nacole Potteiger

Co-Founder

Nacole has a passion for design and storytelling. She enjoys putting her graphic design, web development, and animation skills to work to convey information in new and creative ways.  

She also loves capturing special moments with friends and family, especially her adorable niece and nephew.


Thomas “Tido” Carriero

Software Development Advisor 

Tido is the Chief Product Officer at Segment, a customer data platform company based in San Francisco. Since graduating from Harvard in 2008 with a degree in Computer Science, Tido has spent his entire career in the Silicon Valley. Tido first worked at Facebook as an engineering manager from 2008 -2012, then at Dropbox from 2012 – 2015. At Dropbox, he led the product engineering efforts and was responsible for the development of the original Dropbox for Business product.  

Tido brings extensive experience scaling startups from finding initial product-market fit to building into significant companies that change and help the lives of many.


Paul Velencia

Co-Founder

Paul has been with Nacole and Michael since day one. Unlike his partners, Paul is not a digital native. He often reminds the team - we’re all ignorant, only in different topics.

Paul spent 30 years in the financial services business, before taking on the role of CEO of at a web-based technology startup for 10 years. At Generation Connect, Paul leads business development and strategic partnerships.

The Good News About Dementia Care

An Inspiring Approach to Dementia Communication


I’m new to the world of dementia, but for the past three years, I’ve been immersed in it both personally and professionally. Like most people, I was shocked by the heartache of living with dementia. Fear, confusion, and sacrifice are all inevitable realities for people with dementia and their families.  

But amidst the devastation, I find something really beautiful about dementia care. The ability for us to connect with people who are losing nearly all of their cognitive abilities is a testament to the power of the human spirit. To make someone feel loved, accepted or safe, when they have no memory, or even the ability to understand language, is a deeply inspiring experience.  

I’ve always been hesitant to share my admiration of this phenomenon. It felt disrespectful to find beauty in such a destructive condition, but author Judy Cornish changed my mind.


Helping Families Understand Dementia Communication

I saw Judy speak about dementia care at an aging conference, and her explanation was a revelation for me, especially the story about Mary from the video.  

The progression of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia often results in memory loss symptoms that seem unpredictable and random. Many families that are new to dementia have difficulties with these situations, and seek guidance on dementia care communication strategies.  

Judy’s insight that people with dementia retain intuitive thought - the skills we use to enjoy music, beauty, and emotion - can help families develop dementia communication techniques. The idea that we all have the ability to live in the moment and experience life’s joys is a gift to caregiving community.  

It was a pleasure working with Judy on the creation of this video. We believe it inspires hope and provides a framework for living with dementia, happily.

Generation Connect helps care teams use everyday technologies to make meaningful connections. 

Industry Leaders in Person-Centered Dementia Care

Learn more about the industry leaders that are sharing the good news about dementia care.

Judy Cornish

Judy Cornish, the founder of the DAWN Method, is an attorney licensed in Idaho and Oregon and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Cornish worked in vocational rehabilitation with people who have brain injuries and is a Qualified Mental Health Associate with the mentally ill. The DAWN Method targets the emotional distress that accompanies cognitive decline so that behaviors are avoided and caregiver stress is minimized.

Person-Centered Dementia Care Leader Judy Cornish

Teepa Snow

Teepa Snow is a dementia and Alzheimer's care expert who trains and helps agencies, facilities, and families. She has an extraordinarily unique teaching style, and emphasizes the value of connection when primary verbal communication and interaction abilities are altered.

Person-Centered Dementia Care Leader Teepa Snow

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is the is the founding Executive Director of Music & Memory - a non-profit which brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirmed at over 3,000 healthcare organizations. 

Person-Center Dementia Care Leader Dan Cohen

Bill Thomas

Dr. Bill Thomas is a Harvard-trained geriatrician who has worked to improve the way nursing home care is delivered. He is well known for his ChangingAging tour, an event described as "non-fiction theater" that shatters our culture's damaging myths about aging.

Person-Centered Dementia Care Expert Bill Thomas

Want to Learn More About Dementia Care?

Explore additional resources for dementia caregivers, including animated videos, how-to guides, and inspirational articles.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

DEBBY DODDS | JANUARY 20, 2019

Our team gerontologist Debby Dodds shares some insights from her experiences as a family caregiver and explains the importance of building a care team to support people living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Read more...

MICHAEL POTTEIGER | DECEMBER 1, 2018

Our co-founder Michael Potteiger reflects on what he’s learned from working together with caregivers over the past few years. Read more...

Caregiver's Guide to Music & Dementia

Using music as part of a caregiver routine can improve quality of life, and help family caregivers prevent and lessen stressful situations. 

Learn More

MICHAEL POTTEIGER | JULY 2, 2018

Are you caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia? Learn how to use your smartphone, tablet, or other gadgets to help with reminiscing and engagement. Read more...

DEBBY DODDS | MAY 1, 2018

Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are the fastest growing consumer technology product. And if you are caring for someone that struggles with memory loss, mobility, or vision issues, this might be more exciting than you think. Read more...

MICHAEL POTTEIGER | JULY 2, 2018

This summer I had the privilege of working with a Visiting Angels home care franchise to help plan, promote, and perform in a lip syncing competition to raise money for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Here’s why you should consider a similar event for your next fundraiser. Read more...

DEBBY DODDS | MAY 1, 2018

As a family, we are fully committed to living “in the moment” with our mother as she progresses through the stages of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, out-of-the box creativity has been essential to us - like the story of the fake ID, which became the dignity hack we used to help with purse rummaging anxiety. Read more...

Building a Care Team for Memory Loss 

Gerontologist Debby Dodds | January 20, 2019

Why You Need a Care Team?

It’s hard to comprehend the impact of caring for a loved one with dementia until you have lived it. Dementia has been called the long goodbye for a reason. Overseeing a loved one’s care requires a tremendous amount of time and planning, and there are many moments of grief along the way.  

Like millions of others, my family has been on this journey for the past 8 years. I am the primary care partner for a parent with dementia that is now under the guidance of Hospice. It’s been a constant learning experience; there have been a few very difficult decisions and some heartfelt losses.


Please don't feel sorry for me. It's also been eight years filled with smiles, reminiscing, and cherished memories.

My mother’s Hospice team calls her a ‘breath of sunshine’. That’s partly because my mother is a truly kind and gentle soul, but it’s mostly thanks to the efforts of a proactive care team.  

Every day, we set out with the goal of happiness for my mom. You heard me right, our goal is happiness! People living with Alzheimer’s disease can have many happy times. Since her diagnosis, I’ve been committed to helping family members, friends, and healthcare professionals make meaningful connections with mom.  

I decided to focus on helping others make connections for two reasons:

Reason 1 - As a gerontologist, I know that my mom is unable to independently initiate a change in her own mood, but with the right approach, the people around her can help her feel content, safe, and even joyful.  

Reason 2 - I knew that I could not do it alone and that setting up others for success would increase their willingness to contribute.

It has not always been easy, but I can say without hesitation, that mentoring others to be part of our care team has not only enhanced my mom’s life, it’s also enhanced mine.

My mother’s Hospice team calls her a ‘breath of sunshine’. That’s partly because my mother is a truly kind and gentle soul, but it’s mostly thanks to the efforts of a proactive care team.  

Every day, we set out with the goal of happiness for my mom. You heard me right, our goal is happiness! People living with Alzheimer’s disease can have many happy times. Since her diagnosis, I’ve been committed to helping family members, friends, and healthcare professionals make meaningful connections with mom.  

I decided to focus on helping others make connections for two reasons:

Reason 1 - As a gerontologist, I know that my mom is unable to independently initiate a change in her own mood, but with the right approach, the people around her can help her feel content, safe, and even joyful.  

Reason 2 - I knew that I could not do it alone and that setting up others for success would increase their willingness to contribute.

It has not always been easy, but I can say without hesitation, that mentoring others to be part of our care team has not only enhanced my mom’s life, it’s also enhanced mine.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR CARE TEAM 

The term “care team” evolved from individual clinical practices, and typically includes the people who plan and coordinate the delivery of care for a patient - a doctor, nurse, and other specialists.  

These days we also use ‘care team’ to talk about our aging population’s support system. The team concept now includes family and friends that perform tasks, such as companionship, help with household chores and personal healthcare for those aging in place or in care communities.

Step 1 - Creating a Care Plan

Successful care teams operate from personalized care plans. Those plans are reviewed and updated regularly and shared with family and professionals. Most care plans cover details regarding daily tasks such as bathing, eating, and taking medications, but it is also important to build the plan around the person’s emotional and social needs.  

To help the care team make connections, consider including the following topics as part of your care plan:  

  • Reminiscing - What are some of the person’s favorite memories? How can you use photos or videos to help with reminiscing?  
  • Music - What type of music does the person enjoy? Does he or she enjoy listening to music at certain time of day or during a certain activity?  
  • Socializing - What topics or activities resonate? Which should be avoided?

Step 2 - Building Your Team

In addition to a having a personalized care plan, successful care teams also have a proactive leader. Being the leader of a dementia care team is a demanding task.  

Depending on your situation, you may lack support from friends and family or the financial resources to hire respite care. At times, it may feel like doing everything yourself is the easiest (or only) option. In reality, shouldering all of the caregiver responsibilities is unsustainable, and you will risk declining health for you and your loved one.  

As the leader of a care team, you must be both resourceful and persistent when it comes to getting others involved in the care of your loved one. Consider the following tips to help you build a network of others to support you.  

Ask for Help  

Often, people that take the lead on a loved one’s care are nurturers by nature. We are used to taking care of others and asking for help does not always come naturally. It’s important to accept that you cannot do it alone, and actively seek others to be part of your team.

Set Up Teammates for Success  

Include other family members and friends in activities they will enjoy. For example, we make video phone calls with distant family members part of our care plan. My niece can be a valuable member of our care team simply by calling us, so mom can see and hear her great grandson.

Ask Without Expectation  

This one can be hard. When you devote so much of yourself to the care of a loved one, it’s hard not to have expectations for other family members or friends. However, in my experiences, caregivers that focus on gratitude and let go of resentment are able to build supportive and productive teams.  

Explore Community Resources  

Care teams are endlessly diverse. They can include lifelong friends, family members from all generations, care professionals, volunteers, or other people in the community dealing with similar challenges. Explore opportunities for getting involved in local support groups or events through faith-based organizations, the Area Agency on Aging, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Step 3 - Cherish Your Wins

Your dementia care experience will likely evolve and change over time.  

There will always be tough times, but there will also always be opportunities to make connections. Even if it’s just a smile or a look of comfort, those connections are vitally important to helping your loved one feel safe and comfortable. 

Generation Connect is a gerontology-focused technology company that's committed to developing technology solutions that empower dementia care teams.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

Admirable Qualities that Caregivers Share 

Michael Potteiger | December 1, 2018

Our co-founder Michael Potteiger reflects on what he’s learned from caregivers over the past few years

Caregivers rarely get the appreciation and respect that they deserve. Attending to the needs of another person is a selfless task, and everyone that takes on that role deserves gratitude.  

There are millions of caregivers amongst us. In the United States, there are over 43 million caregivers - more than 34 million are providing unpaid care to a loved one over the age of 50, and more than 15 million are caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or a similar dementia.  

I’ve had the privilege of working very closely with this community - specifically families and teams that are providing care for people living with dementia. It’s been a humbling (and at times heartbreaking) experience.  

No matter the circumstance, caregiving is challenging. The practical side of providing care can be overwhelming - coordinating appointments, managing medications, monitoring symptoms, and completing a wide variety of other tasks. There’s only so many hours in a day and these responsibilities can be time consuming and tedious.  

There’s also the emotional component of providing care, which can make the role significantly more demanding. It’s also where great caregivers thrive; they have an uncanny ability to make meaningful connections in the midst of challenging situations.  

The caregivers that I’ve encountered are an eclectic bunch - spanning countless different age ranges, demographics, ethnicities, and personality types. However, they all have a few similar qualities that we can all learn from.


EMPATHY

Empathy does not always come naturally. As humans, we are hardwired to process the world through our own emotions and urges. Caregivers have the ability to perceive the world from the perspective of the recipient - recognizing, feeling, and sharing emotions.  

Practicing empathy requires self-control. When providing care, you will inevitably encounter situations that will cause you stress and frustration. Surrendering to your own emotions in those situations can prevent you from understanding the care recipient’s experience.  

Empathy also requires a person to be perceptive. One family described their in-home caregiver for their mother who was living with Alzheimer’s as “an absolute blessing”. They made special mention about her attentiveness and empathy.


"She seems to always know what Mom is thinking. She knows that this grimace means something different than that grimace, and this smile vs. that smile. It's amazing."


DETERMINATION 

A harsh reality of caregiving is understanding that not all days are good days. Sometimes, there are simply situations that are out of our control.  

Perhaps, the person receiving care is in pain, or needs to undergo a stressful procedure. In other situations, the tension is the result of the care recipient expressing anxiety, confusion, depression, or pent-up frustration.  

Either way, these moments are difficult for caregivers. Often, you feel for that person, and experience the same difficult emotions. In other circumstances, you may feel unappreciated and grow frustrated.  

Some people are defeated by these tough times - searching for ways to avoid the situation altogether. Caregivers, on the other hand, remain resolute in the face of adversity - determined to do the best that they can do. 

RESOURCEFULNESS

Even in the most trying of circumstances, caregivers have a knack for facilitating moments of comfort or joy. Sometimes a caregiver’s resourcefulness is the result of careful planning and experience, and other times, it’s simply an instinct to do the best you can in a given situation.

Medical appointments, or worse - unexpected trips to the hospital, are a common source of stress for people receiving care and caregivers. These situations typically involve the care recipient feeling physically or emotionally distressed in an unfamiliar or unwelcome environment. On top of that, there is often uncertainty regarding the cause of the problem and the timeframe for resolving it.

I’ve encountered several caregivers that have a specially prepared “Go Bag” designed for outings of this nature. The “Go Bag” contains extra clothes, hygiene products, blankets or other tactile objects for fiddling, music player, headphones, games, or other resources that might be helpful. The “Go Bag” is always packed and ready to go in case of emergency.

CREATIVITY

In addition to being prepared, caregivers are also creative. One family caregiver was devastated to learn that her mother, who is living with Alzheimer’s, became very upset when she left after visiting. Her mom told care staff at the retirement community that she had not seen her daughter in ages and misses her dearly, despite seeing her recently and regularly.  

The mother was so upset that staff had to call the daughter, so she could talk to her mom on the phone. It worked; the daughter was able to comfort her mom - letting her know that she would be visiting again soon. This sequence became a common occurrence, and the daughter was feeling overwhelmed with the frequency of upset phone calls.  

Working together with the care staff, they came up with a creative solution. The daughter recorded her voice over some pictures with her mom, explaining how much she enjoyed spending time with her, and how she plans to visit soon.  

In the future, when the mother became upset - staff would tell her that her daughter just left a message; then, they would play the video. The familiar voice and images were comforting, helping the daughter be there for mom - even when she could not physically be there.


When it comes down to it, caregivers are strong people with big hearts. At Generation Connect, we are extremely grateful for these individuals and honored to work alongside them.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

5 Ways Technology Can Help Caregivers Make Connections 

Michael Potteiger | December 1, 2018

As we get older, socializing often becomes increasing challenging, for a variety of reasons - family members and children relocate, work friends are lost in retirement, and loved ones pass away.  

For many older adults, mobile technologies are a welcome social and intellectual lifeline. Millions are using their smartphone or tablet to send messages, share photos, video chat, or explore topics they’re passionate about. In fact, people over the age of 65 are the fastest growing demographic when it comes to adopting technologies, such as broadband internet and smartphones.  

While millions enjoy the social and cognitive benefits of using modern technology, millions more are unable to adopt or use these technologies independently, due to significant cognitive challenges, such as Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.  

Even though people living with Alzheimer’s may have difficulties using technology independently that does not mean they won’t benefit immensely from the experience of using technology with a caregiver.  

Using technology to personalize the care experience helps people living with Alzheimers’ and dementia stay connected to people, places, and passions that make them feel like themselves.


#1 - Listening to Personally Meaningful Music

Why Music?

There is a connection in the brain between personalized music and cherished memories: long-term memories, emotions, and our favorite music are connected in an area of the brain that is one of the last to be affected by the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Hearing familiar music can evoke fond memories and helps people with dementia connect to their personal histories.  

Millions of people have shared inspirational stories about the power of personalized music for people living with dementia.

How to use personalized music as a caregiver:

  • Input your text inListen in the home - play old records or CDs if you still have the necessary equipment.
  • Take your music on the go - purchase a low cost MP3 player and transfer music from CD’s or digital purchases. MP3 are affordable (starting at $35,) portable, and can save hundreds of songs.
  • Listen to any song, any time - use free music services, like Spotify or YouTube, on any smartphone or tablet to search for a specific song or artist.

#2 - Watch YouTube Videos 

Why YouTube?

There are billions of videos on YouTube! They span endless cultures, topics, and time periods - classic TV shows, farming videos, salsa dancing, musical performances, nature clips, travel documentaries and pretty much any other obscure interest that you can imagine. Exploring personally meaningful and entertaining content on YouTube can help facilitate conversation and enjoyable reminiscing.

How to Use YouTube as a Caregiver:

Before you get started with YouTube, make sure your smartphone or tablet can connect to the internet during engagement.  

You’ll also want to do a little research in advanced. Search for topics that the care recipient might find interesting and preview videos to find quality content. Take note of the videos that you think will resonate.

When you’re ready to start, strike up a conversation about the video topic before showing a clip. Make sure to control the device and position it so that the care recipient can simply enjoy the video.  

Look for opportunities to explore new topics that can help with reminiscing, including videos about past careers, pets, theatre experiences, travel, sports, art, music, and spirituality.


#3 - Share Photos with Family 

Why Photo Sharing?

People with dementia lose cognitive skills, but remain very intuitive and in touch with their emotions. They instinctively feel connected and safe around family members and friends.  

Reminiscing with pictures and videos of loved ones can also evoke these comforting emotions and feelings of connection.

How to reminisce with photos:

  • Reminisce in the House - If you have access to photo albums or scrap books, pull them out and go down memory lane.
  • Go digital - Use free services like email, Facebook, iCloud, Google Photos, or Dropbox to involve family members and friends.

#4 - Use a Smart Speaker

Why Smart Speakers?

Voice-first speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home are rapidly growing in popularity. Not only are they are affordable (start at $49), but they are also easy to use and fun.  

They can also be incredibly useful for caregivers. Instantly pull up favorite music or explore a topic of interest.

How to Use a Smart Speaker as a Caregiver:

Before using a voice-smart speaker, you will need a smartphone or tablet to connect your speaker to Wi-Fi and sign into a music service (such as Pandora or Spotify). Once your speaker is set up, keep a list of helpful commands handy. Here’s some inspiration:  

  • Hey Google/Alexa, play certain artist/song/type of music
  • Hey Alexa/Google, tell me about a topic of interest
  • Hey Alexa/Google, check the weather in relevant locations
  • Hey Alexa/Google, check sports scores of favorite teams

#5 - Try Out Virtual Reality

Why Virtual Reality?

Since virtual reality is immersive, it stimulates your mind in ways the a normal screen cannot. The immersive experience can be incredibly impactful for reminiscence therapy.  

From adventures in nature to personalized travel scenes, a virtual reality headset can help a person reconnect to fond life experiences. While many virtual reality solutions can be difficult to use and lack relevant content for senior, an innovative company is building a VR experience for caregivers and care recipients to use together.

How to Use Virtual Reality as a Caregiver:

Using virtual reality as a caregiver can be challenging. Some senior living communities offer virtual reality engagement programs for residents, but if you are caring for a loved one or client in the home, purchasing, setting up and using virtual reality is cumbersome.

We suggest starting with music and tablets. Once you get comfortable personalizing engagement, then it will be easier to explore new technologies, such as virtual reality.  

Over time, virtual reality will become increasingly useful for caregivers: the equipment will be less invasive, the content will be more impactful, and the price point will be more affordable.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

Can Voice-First Speakers Change Caregiving? 

Debby Dodds | May 1, 2018

Hey Siri — Can You Help Me, Help Her? 

Would you believe it if I told you that we are just a few years away from having voice-first speakers such as Amazon Echo (Alexa), Google Home (Hey Google) or Apple HomePod (Hey Siri) in the majority of American households? Well, believe it, because according to Juniper Research, 55% of households (70 million) will have these smart devices by 2022. And if you are a professional caregiver, helping an aging parent, or caring for someone that struggles with memory loss, mobility, or vision issues, this might be more exciting than you think.


What If You Forgot How To… 

At Generation Connect, we work with creative caregivers, and many of them care for people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. For those living with dementia, their memory loss often results in the inability to initiate enjoyable actives, such as listening to music. For many, they have completely forgotten how to turn on their favorite songs.  

That does not mean they do not enjoy music; in fact, the opposite is typically true - familiar can be extremely comforting and enjoyable. However, it does mean that they are completely reliant on others to bring music into their lives. Most smart caregivers use music often because they know personally meaningful songs can easily lift spirits — and now it just got easier.


One Sentence Can Change Your Day

Voice-first speakers work with a wide variety of music services

With voice-activated speakers, caregivers can play music with their hands full, from across the room, and in one sentence. To find meaningful songs for someone, ask spouses, siblings, and children what they remember hearing in their home. You can start with just a few songs and build a playlist over time.  

When you hear or are reminded of a song you know the care recipient will love, you can add it to the playlist from the connected smartphone or tablet app. Even better, with many services, you can simply tell your assistant (Alexa/Siri/Google) to add a song to a specific playlist. 

Amazon Alexa Plays Music for Caregivers

Helping with Post Acute Care

Recently, a 97-year-old mother we know broke her hip, right arm and was moved to a rehabilitation facility. Rehab was a strange new environment, and her son noticed she was feeling isolated and getting depressed. With a cast on her arm, she could no longer hold her phone to speak with the family. The son brought her an Amazon Dot to help the communication issue. It gave her hands-free calling and a simple way to communicate with family.

Amazon Alexa Calls Family for Patient

The son, who had several voice-activated systems at home began to tap into many of the other fun things his mother and her care staff could try, games, jokes, and news. Here is what he told us, “I think the biggest takeaway is how much more her caregivers engage with her now. Bottom line, the speaker makes it more fun for carers too.”


Tech-Savvy Caregivers Are Spreading the Word

Here is a creative solution from a tech-savvy caregiver:  

“Post a list of prompts on the wall behind their resident’s favorite chair. The prompts help other care staff, family and visitors enrich the resident’s day by saying one sentence to their device. It really is that simple.” 

Amazon Alexa Cheat Sheet for Caregivers

Whether it is listening to music, communicating with family, relaxing, or playing games, when you make voice-first part of your care routine, we are pretty sure you will find that one sentence that will brighten your day.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

5 Reasons Your Next Fundraiser Should Be a Lip Sync Competition 

Michael Potteiger | April 2, 2018

This summer I had the privilege of working with a Visiting Angels home care franchise to help plan, promote, and perform in a lip syncing competition to raise money for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Here’s why you should consider a similar event for your next fundraiser.


Reason #1: Silly Performances = Serious Money and Awareness 

Lots of businesses, influencers, volunteers, and youth groups are looking for ways to get involved in the community. A lip syncing competition is exciting, and we found several local organizations that were more than happy to help us advance the cause.  

In our first year, we were able to raise over $7,000 from sponsorships, donations, and raffles. Just as important, we spread awareness for the cause to thousands of people through live performances and social media.  

We recorded the first event on an iPhone, put together a fun video, and it received ten of thousands of views on Facebook. It was a great way to raise some extra awareness for the Alzheimer's Association.


Reason #2: Lip Syncing is Great for Team Building

Businesses and other local organizations make significant investments in team building retreats and activities. A lip syncing competition is the ultimate team building endeavor; it requires working together, creativity, and execution. Best of all, this team building activity can help raise money for a meaningful cause.

Dentist Office Does Charity Lip Sync Competition

Reason #3: Lip Sync Connects Generations 

Anyone and everyone can lip sync… We had performers across nine generations - teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s! Any event that connects generations through music, dance, performance, and laughter is a winner.

Senior Improv Group Performs at Charity Lip Sync

Reason #4: It’s Not Your Mother’s Bake Sale 

Raising money can be challenging. Lots of organizations use the same event ideas to inspire donations, including bake sales, auctions, bingo nights, and golf tournaments. A lip sync competition is something different, and for that reason, it helps attract and excite a diverse group in the community.


Reason #5: So You Can Perform... (Do It!) 

When I was first asked to get involved, I was happy to help but did not plan on performing; singing/dancing is NOT my thing. However, a few colleagues applied an extremely effective combination of peer pressure and friendly competition, and ultimately convinced me to give it a shot.  

Even though I was prepared from choreography and rehearsals with my wife, I was seriously nervous for my performance. To my relief, the nerves disappeared as soon as I stepped out on stage and saw all the supportive faces in the crowd.  

I rocked out to a custom mix of famous bands through the decades - the Beatles, Jackson 5, Journey, and Backstreet Boys. My performance earned me a bronze medal, but more importantly, I had a blast while helping to raise money for a cause that’s important to me.  

Besides, now that I have worked up the courage to lip sync Don’t Stop Believing (dressed up as Steve Perry in a leopard print t-shirt) in front of a crowd of people, other public engagements seem much less intimidating.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

Why I made my 90-Year-Old Mom a Fake ID 

Michael Potteiger | April 2, 2018

An Out-of-the-Box Rummaging Hack

As a family, we are fully committed to living “in the moment” with our mother as she progresses through the stages of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, out-of-the-box creativity has been essential to us - like the story of the fake ID, which became the dignity hack we used to help with purse rummaging anxiety.  

We knew losing a purse might happen for Mom who was forgetting more frequently. But in her mind, leaving home without a purse, was not really an option for a ‘normal’ lady. She put her foot down; she would not relinquish her purse.  

For safety we had removed credit cards, insurance info and some personal information from her wallet. Sure enough, eventually her purse went permanently missing.


Idea #1: A Backup, Wallet-less Purse 

Easy enough to fix, we got a backup purse for outings and just excluded a wallet. Problem solved, right? When we headed out I simply mentioned to my mother that she, “Left her wallet at my house (a fiblet,) and we would pick it up later.”  

However, due to her short-term storage and recall issues she would repeatedly look in her purse and not find the wallet. I simply repeated that it had been left at my house. Yet after awhile, the purse rummaging behavior became more frantic. The wallet-less purse idea worked, but only briefly.  

Mom sat me down for a wallet chat: “We have to find my wallet.” Turns out, in her mind, without her wallet she could not pay her way. I was focused on the purse, yet it was the lack of a wallet and money in the purse that was also increasing her anxiety. To her, not finding a wallet meant her independence and dignity were in question, especially in a world where many things were “unexplainably, slowing, slipping away.”


Idea #2: The New Backup Wallet 

Again, we thought we had the solution - put a modified wallet back in the purse. Easy to accomplish, right? We put a wallet back in her purse. In fact, I purchased two identical wallets - just in case.  

The next trip she again looked in her purse for her wallet, found it, opened it, but exclaimed, “This is not my wallet!” Okay, fair point. This new wallet was fairly empty. We had focused on having cash available in the wallet. Now, I understand that she did not see her photo ID, or any credit cards in it - just some cash.


Idea #3: Fake ID (Third Time’s a Charm)

One of her caregivers said, “make her a fake ID, and put that in her wallet.” Great idea. Being several decades over 21, a typical time folks would create fake ID, I turned a few heads at the office store when I said, “Can you help me make a fake ID?” I explained it was not for me, but for my 90-year-old mother. That drew a few understanding smiles, as we created a laminated official looking card without personal identifiers.  

To complete the wallet I used expired plastic gift cards, simulated credit cards from offers in the mail, old store receipts and, of course, cash and change.  

On our next outing, I slipped the new personalized and de-identified wallet in her purse. When she got her purse, she began rummaging, found her wallet, opened the very real looking wallet, looked to see if she had any money and that was the end of the rummaging behavior. That was a year ago. Third times a charm!


Idea #3: Fake ID (Third Time’s a Charm)

The truth is that with Alzheimer’s disease people move from rational understanding to ‘living in the moment’. In our mother’s case, she often can’t remember the topic of conversation 5 minutes ago, but she still remembers anxiety from one outing to the next about her missing wallet. This is understandable because emotional memory is stored in one of the last brain structures to be attacked by Alzheimer’s.  

Behavior is communication. My mom didn’t tell me, “It makes me anxious when I have no money or ability to pay,” she showed me through her behavior. I’m learning to speak Behavior as a second language.  

As a second language, it can sometimes take a little while for me to understand. At first, I thought she was telling me she wanted her wallet. It took me a few tries to get it right, as it may take you as you try to interpret your parent’s behavior. But keep at it. I hope you will find that the helping with your loved one’s dignity is well worth the time and effort you put into leaning to speak Behavior… We sure did.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

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