Supporting Dementia Care Toolkit
Co-design phase

Configuring the devices and apps

Configuring the iPads

Our trials with community group participants led us to simplify the user experience by removing unnecessary apps from the iPad home screens and using the cleaner home screen and lock screen to display visual prompts to help users access the tablet features. The steps we followed were:

  • Having no PIN set to unlock the tablet
  • Not storing personal details or accounts on the tablet
  • Setting the rotation lock so the tablet remained in landscape mode
  • Creating wallpapers for the home screen and lock screen that included visual prompts about the location of buttons and apps on the tablet

Configuring the iPad wallpaper

Display of the screen, with volume and turn off instructions on the upper left corner and the press the home button to get started on the right side Same display as the image on the left, displayed on a screen
Screen capture with the instructions on tapping the pink button and an arrow to highlight where the home button is Same screen as the image to the left, just displayed on a screen

Configuring the Zoom app

To maximise simplicity and online safety for the participants, we experimented with settings in the Zoom app and also in how we set up the Zoom calls. Based on our experience, we recommend the following settings:

On the device (Zoom app for iOS)

To protect their identity, we did not create Zoom accounts for the participants and did not require them to be logged into the app. This also removed the need for them to have email addresses and passwords (which are easily forgotten). 

This decision proved successful and without any drawback during our pilot. We set up Zoom calls with a waiting room facility and participants were easily identified by their device name (e.g. ‘Tap&Chat4’). Once on the call, the host would rename participants using their first name only to facilitate better conversation. 

We believe this was an optimum balance between privacy and ease of access.

These settings are for iPads (iOS devices) but equivalent settings are also available on the Zoom app for Android.

Setting up Zoom calls

The following settings were used for the Zoom calls (via the host’s account):

  • Paid for Zoom accounts to ensure full functionality and that calls were not restricted to 40 minutes
  • Created a distinct meeting ID for calls (did not use personal ID) to ensure only invited guests can attend and meetings can be cancelled
  • Used ‘Recurring meetings’ so that the time and date can be chosen independently
  • Set the passcode set to ‘On’ to stop unauthorised people joining the call (the passcode is embedded in the link used for the Zoom Ticket)
  • Used ‘Waiting room’ to make sure that only invited guests are included and that participants cannot have unsupervised calls (for safeguarding reasons)
  • Ensured that ‘Only authenticated users can join’ was turned ‘off’ so that participants do not require Zoom accounts or to be signed in to access the call
  • Added team members as alternative hosts in case the original host could not make the call and to allow delegation of tasks during calls
  • Made host’s video and participant’s video ‘on’ as default in order to reduce steps to join the call

Managing the tablets remotely

We used a Remote Device Management system to manage the tablets while we were responsible for them during the pilot. This made it easier to bulk configure the devices during set-up and meant we could remotely wipe the devices if we needed to. The system also allowed us to see when the device was last online and restrict access to certain apps. We used a system called SimpleMDM, which was easy to use but is only available for iOS devices.

Wireless 4G router

As we were aiming to engage people who have limited or no access to technology, our hypothesis was that they would not have an internet connection at home. A wireless internet router with SIM card is therefore an optional addition to the kit – it can be plugged into a power socket in the participant’s home to provide a Wi-Fi connection for the Zoom call.

We used a TP-Link Archer MR400 AC1200 Dual Band 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Router combined with a multi-network AnywhereSIM 50GB data SIM with six weeks allowance to cover the four-week pilot and include a grace period at each end.

We paired and tested the router and iPad combinations in the office before installing them in participants’ homes so that it was simple to plug in and test.

Setting up the router and SIM was relatively straightforward with a laptop but we noted the requirement to allow Data Roaming in the router settings to get it to accept the multi-network SIM.

Handset attachment

Another optional attachment to the kit was a traditional telephone style handset attachment that participants could hold up to their ear during the call. The hypothesis was that this could make the kit feel more familiar and inviting for people living with dementia who may recognise the phone as something that allows them to be part of a call. It could also offer additional hearing benefits to anyone with hearing needs.

Skip to content

Join the LOTI conversation

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest news and updates