VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TECHNOLOGY FOR THOSE WITH HEARING LOSS AND DEMENTIA

deafscotland is pleased to announce we have received funding from Foundation Scotland to produce a toolkit to help people with hearing loss and dementia  use Virtual Assistant technology. We are looking for volunteers to join our Working Group and be part of creating this valuable resource. We will provide language/communication support for the group meetings.

The COVID-19 Lockdown has brought the impact and understanding of social isolation into the mainstream. Evidence shows that those with hearing loss are at greater risk of increased social isolation than others; those with hearing loss and dementia are doubly vulnerable.

Recently, we have seen an increase in the use of communication technology which is allowing people to stay connected.  Virtual Assistant technology is being used to bridge the communication gap and provide reassurance. Realising this, deafscotland has recently produced a set of accessible factsheets containing general information and tips on how to get started using virtual assistant technology. 

VA1: Overview of Virtual Assistant Devices  WORD  PDF

VA2: How to Use the Amazon Echo  WORD   PDF

VA3: Using Ring Doorbell    WORD   PDF

VA4: Safe and Secure Use of Virtual Assistants      WORD  PDF

There is a need for additional information specifically for those living with hearing loss and dementia and their carers.   It is important to create  information sheets that are specific to each of the four pillars of deafness.

Also,  it is important to remember that the unpaid carers for those who have hearing loss and dementia are at risk of social isolation.  They can also experience anxiety and fear at being cut off while caring for a vulnerable person.  Virtual Assistant technology can help them keep in touch during lockdown.  As the numbers of people with an age related hearing loss increase, there are disproportionate numbers of carers who are themselves hard of hearing and face language and communication barriers during lockdown. Virtual Assistant technology can help ensure that communication is not only possible but of enjoyable quality.

What do we want to do?

With help from those living with dementia, we want to produce accessible factsheets on how to use Virtual Assistant technology to help improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss and dementia and their carers, now and after lockdown is over.

If you live with hearing loss and dementia or care for someone who has hearing loss and dementia and would like to be part of a Working Group or you would like more information on the project,  please contact:

Andrena McMenemy

e: research@deafscotland.org

Voice/Text: 07947 835969