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Digital photo frames and dementia

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We ordered a digital photo frame for my MIL but I go back and forth over whether it is a good birthday gift for her. She has either Alzheimers or dementia and is at the point where she still remembers people/relatives and some old events, but nothing in the present (endlessly asking qu's as if they are new, etc).


Is this frame and changing pics likely to be loved by her or going to annoy her like crazy? Any advice from anyone who's BTDT?


I really don't want to give it to her if she's not going to understand what it is or be annoyed by it constantly changing, but it seems like a good gift if seeing the photos cheers her up. Each one will be new every time it comes up.

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We did that for my grandmother, who had dementia (pretty much, most of the time she thought I was my mother, and that it was the 70s). Since she wasn't able to attend my wedding due to her health, we gave her a digital picture frame with wedding photos and some other older photos that I'd scanned. It was definitely a success - the nurses laughed about it though, because Gram would start talking about the photos with them and then wanted them to sit down and watch the slideshow with her!


The only caveat I would add is to maybe sit and go through a photo album with her first and see which ones are her favorites. My gram seemed confused by some of the photos (mostly ones from the wedding that didn't have family in them) and also her dementia seemed to bring up some old family grudges, so I ended up deleting all the pictures that had my half-siblings in them.

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I think my grandmother would like the slideshow too! I would be discriminate about the pics you choose to put in, as ones that are some of her favorite moments.

I visited my grandmother while I was home over Thanksgiving, and although I normally don't give her a picture of my kids, I did this year because of the kilt my youngest was wearing. My grandmother remembered wearing a kilt for school about 10 times during my 20 minute visit, and each time it put a smile on her face.

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Only those closest to her will know if this is a good gift, honestly. If there is any short-term memory left and she doesn't get frustrated trying to remember even the closest family, then I think it's a wonderful gift. If she does struggle a lot, then maybe you could find a way to put older pictures in?


Our mamaw seemed to revert to a time in her young adulthood where she remembered her son, dh and the early years when she still worked. The rest of us were familiar in some distant way but not more than that. :( She would look at pictures of *herself* from when she first became a grandmother (to dh) and she did NOT believe it was her! lol If you can find that time "zone" that your loved one is at right now, you can accommodate her much better!

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I just have to say that I think it's really sweet of you to think about this aspect of a gift. I am not sure it would have ever occurred to some of us (myself, for one) that the slide show might be disconcerting to someone with dementia.


That's all.




Oh I don't know. Don't sell yourself short. I feel like I'm still learning about this disease and how it affects people even though we've been dealing with it for years now. I feel badly for the people it affects... and any way of helping even a little bit - or avoiding more problems - is well worth it. I wouldn't have thought about this aspect either earlier in the disease - or before I had personal experience with it. We all learn as we go along.

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