Sandy Laipply and using an iPad with a Parkinson’s Patient


This is a reposting from a former blog. The other blog will no longer be active as of July 1, so I wanted to repost this article in the hopes that it will be of use to someone else.

My mother has advanced Parkinson’s Disease. She has been living in an assisted living facility for 6 years and is confined to a wheelchair since she falls several times each week. Most days when I go to see her she is unresponsive and it breaks my heart to see her like this. A couple weeks ago, on a whim, I took my iPad along when I went to see her to show her some photos. She showed very little interest in the photos ( of my daughter trying on wedding dresses-something she would have loved before). Then I showed her an app called Uzu. This is a particle generator- I had no idea what that meant, but when you touch the screen, beautiful colors appear and dance around. She was fascinated, and with a little help from me, played with it for several minutes. So I showed her a couple other apps-things like “ Cut the Rope”, “Sound Drop” , Piano Free”, Guitar Free” and “Adobe Ideas”. She actually smiled and laughed and played until it was time for dinner. This was more interaction than I have had with her for 2-3 years. I have no idea why this peaked her interest when almost nothing else could, or why she was able to play the games after I showed her how. All I can say is “ Thank you, Apple!!!” I love my iPad for a variety of reasons, but this alone made it worth the price. An iPod touch might work as well, but the larger screen on the iPad is so much easier to see and play with. So if you are dealing with anyone who has dementia, and you have or can borrow an iPad, try it! You may be amazed, and it may give you back a little of the person who seems lost to you.




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