In a new guest column for McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Erickson School Dean Judah Ronch explores how technology can enhance relationships between older adults with dementia and their caregivers, and also clarifies misconceptions about technology as panacea for compassionate caregiving. He writes,
Technology is not valuable as an (expensive) electronic attendant to deterioration. It is a vehicle that can help the person restore, replace, and compensate for the assault on identity of self that is dementia through pleasurable experiences with others (remote and on site), and by experiencing the pleasure found in successfully meeting challenges through problem solving – like all people do.
Technology can be a partner in caring for the whole person by enhancing relationships that go beyond physical care giving and enabling the whole person to be present with others and experience joy, rich sensory stimulation and success. This use of technology will take us beyond caring for the person’s memory and provide care for the whole person.