Technology – give it a go…says Wendy Mitchell

In these strange times we’re all living in at the moment, we’re all looking for different ways to keep connected, to avoid total isolation. It must be an introverts paradise, but many humans are social beings and need others to keep in touch and feel connected. Even those introverts need human contact.

This is where technology has really come into its own, but many have never used it, so feel left out.

Before I was diagnosed with young onset dementia, I’d never used technology.  I stayed away from the idea of smart phones, iPads were for other mortals, Zoom was a noise cars made! and what on earth was ‘WhatsApp’?....but now, I couldn’t do without any of them.  They are my lifeline.  They have opened up a world that I never knew existed and I’m so grateful to all of them.

In the current climate, technology is even more important as a means for keeping me in touch with humans...from ‘speaking’ to people all over the world, to keeping in touch with my village news…

My village has a Facebook page, where people are posting updates and messages of help along with daily frivolities to entertain.  I post photos of my trundles. It’s also the place where the village shop is posting messages of help to deliver to anyone having to self isolate.

Zoom is being used by many of my peer support groups, now we can’t meet.  A simple video call where you can get virtual hugs and see everyone on screen.

On a iPad you can keep an electronic journal....there was a great game to play with children mentioned this morning.  Ask them to join in and answer three questions each day...

What have you done to make someone happy today?

What has someone else done to make you happy today?

And I can’t remember the third, but I’m sure you can make one up….it’s to ensure there’s some positivity in peoples daily lives as mental health issues for children and adults alike is being severely tested…

I watch videos on YouTube. All manner of topics on there, but I like to watch videos of Blackpool in the era when I was a child visiting...I’m sure you could find similar of places you visited as a child…

And of course, you could always read a book on line…..obviously I’d recommend Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell…..ha!

I’m also using the on line world to crowdfund for my support group Minds and Voices, as we’re running out of money as no one should be alone with dementia. More details here.

If you’ve never tried technology or seen its potential, then now is the ideal time to start.  If you don’t like it, just stop.  But what’s the harm in trying?  You might well find you get a nice surprise of how it brings the wider world inside your isolated home... 

- Wendy Mitchell is author of Sunday Times Best Seller Somebody I Used to Know, is the writer of a blog on living with dementia Which me am I today? and is a keen user of Twitter @WendyPMitchell

April 2020

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