The new Google commercial is a heart warming story of how technology could be used as a tool to combat memory loss. This is a really thought provoking commercial and it is wonderful that Google have highlighted the importance of digital assets planning and digital legacy safeguarding on a global level.
The commercial was premiered during the Super Bowl 2020. The commercial explores the relationship between death, memory and someone’s digital legacy.
Using technology to remember and mourn our loved ones is not new. Marking a grave with stone is an early technology dating back from around 3,000 B.C. More recently the photograph has enabled memories connected to specific people and places to be captured.
Tagging physical photos (describing what the photo is about) is often used as a form of cognitive stimulation with those with dementia. Once a photos has been described it enables family members, friends and carers to discuss the photo regardless of their relationship with the person or those captured in the photograph. Writing the person’s name and what is happening in a photograph is sometime’s written on the back of the photograph or around it when fixed within a photo album.
Hey Google show me photos of me and Loretta
Using Google Assistant as a memory aid
If you decide to use Google Assistant to address memory loss or digital legacy get in touch. We are excited about the positive impact technology can have within all areas of health and social care and we would love to know what the outcomes were.
Things to consider
There are a number of things to consider before using Google Assistant as a tool to address memory loss. We have highlighted a few potential issues that might occur if they are not properly addressed in advance.
- The user cannot remember the password for their Google account and is locked out.
- The user cannot remember how to use Google Assistant and those who support the user are not familiar or aware of the device.
- The user cannot remember which audio commands are needed to access their media.
- The user forgets that they had uploaded and saved media within their Google account.
- The user moves into a hospice, residential home or hospital and the Google assistant is not allowed to be used into the new residential setting.
- The new residential setting does not provide residents with WIFI.
Google’s Inactive Account Manager
If you use any Google service we recommend that you make plans for the services you use (Gmail, Google Photos, Youtube etc) in Google’s Inactive Account Manager. Google’s Inactive Account Manager enables Google users to pass on access to their photos, videos, emails etc to a friend or family member following their death.
Supporting those with memory loss
If you are a carer and would like to provide cognitive rehabilitation for those with memory loss or dementia we recommend speaking with a local or national charity for further support. The Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Handbook is also a great resource to read.
Safeguarding photos and videos
It is important that we make plans for physical estate and the assets we own. It is also important that we make plans for our digital estate and the digital assets we creating, purchasing and storing.