A recent article in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias* found video prompting may be considered a valuable tool to support persons with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease during daily activities. In 2 different studies, one comparing video cues to verbal instruction and the other to static pictorial cues. video prompting proved to be an effective strategy. The study lays the groundwork for leveraging the use of video technology in the care of persons with dementia.
Another part of the study measured the social validation of the participants during each task. The results of the social validation indicated that the video prompting strategy was equivalent to the the verbal instructions strategy from the standpoint of being comfortable and practically beneficial, and better than the verbal instructions strategy in terms of compatibility with the daily context, and caregivers’ and family’s support. Both video and verbal were better than the pictorial cues strategy on all items.
The study was simple and only used a small sample of subjects, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. Video prompting is nothing more than a multi-sensory medium used to deliver instructions. I would anecdotally assume that very similar results would be found if a live person had demonstrated each step, allowed time to complete the step, and delivered the instructions in carefully measured words that were brief and to the point.
But we know caregivers are human beings who interact with other human beings in social manner that does not convey in video prompting. Video prompting eliminates distraction, and chit-chat, and frustration, and expressive humanness. I am aware of burden of “expert opinion” on caregivers. It’s hard to tell already stressed family members to stick to a script… approach the task in this way… don’t engage in conversation… don’t show any negativity… stand on your head and juggle teacups with your feet… sorry, I think I’ll leave this thread for another post.
At this stage in the evolution of the Alzheimer’s epidemic, where there is no effective treatment or cure, there is a potential for technology to play a role in caregiving.
* Perilli, V. Lancioni, G, Hoogeveen, F, Caffo, A, Singh, N., O’Reilly, M, Sigafoos, J, Cassano, G, Oliva, D. Video Prompting Versus Other Instruction Strategies for Persons With Alzheimer’s Disease. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 2013: 28 (4): 393-401)