Today’s sponsor spotlight comes from an interview by Caregiving Advice’s Bobbi Jo Curty with PHOTAVIA’s Becky Steimle. Want to become a Caregiving Advice sponsor? Reach out here.
Home is often the preferred choice for many aging adults. As care demands increase, many older adults and their family members do the best they can to achieve this goal. And the goal of the PHOTAVIA experience? To benefit one’s quality of life at home by providing a fresh approach in the caregiving journey.
Each person’s version of home is different. When I converse with a person with dementia residing in a care community, “I want to go home,” is a phrase often heard around the common area. As I engage in the person’s present moment, my response is, “Well, where is home for you?”
Their response usually describes fond memories of a location where they grew up or a place they lived most of their lives — the pieces of home that live in all of our minds: from the places we can no longer return, to the places that continue to provide warmth, comfort, and stability (even for a person who has short-term memory loss). These pieces of home are our personal histories.
So when an older adult is apprehensive about care decisions and next steps, it’s no wonder why most people want to stay home. Still, keeping the mind stimulated and active through connections and conversations is vital — especially as care needs increase and they can’t maintain their typical routine.
Remaining at home has its benefits — but it can also have its downsides for someone slowly losing their independence and lacking the frequent socialization they once had. PHOTAVIA offers a way to relive moments in history and continue to “ping the memory,” as PHOTAVIA’s marketing consultant, Becky Steimle, likes to call it.
“PHOTAVIA offers a way to relive moments in history.”-Becky Steimle
Viewing PHOTAVIA’s historic images in a senior living community setting generates connections vital to ongoing engagement — connections that are difficult to replicate in a home setting. The brief factoids of information, musical pieces, and pop-culture images evoke reminiscent thoughts pertaining to an individual’s own history — such as where they were that day, what they might recall from that moment, and what they may have learned since that time. These connections generate conversations too, meeting socialization needs.
For older adults living at home, PHOTAVIA creates a bridge between caregiver and caree: an iconic image sparks memories for the caree, and the caregiver can ask questions or just listen — learning more about a time in their loved one’s life they may never have known about without the photo prompt. Enjoying PHOTAVIA together brings history to life on a personal level.
“Instead of prompting mundane questions about the weather, PHOTAVIA encourages ‘tell-me-more’ questions.”-Becky Steimle
Caregivers in all ages and stages can benefit from these connections. During conversations, instead of prompting mundane questions about the weather, PHOTAVIA’s programming encourages “tell-me-more” questions related to history or public figures, like, “When was this?” or “How old were you when this happened?” and “What was that like?”
No matter the setting, PHOTAVIA is a dynamic tool that builds intergenerational connections and fosters all ages conversations. Whether you are a child, grandchild, spouse/partner, or private duty aide, your caregiving role is valuable — and so are the stories, memories, and unique perspectives of older adults. Relive history in a relevant, purposeful way together — and create new memories that will last.