A new app called GreyMatters aims to help people suffering from dementia. Its creators believe it will help improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers.
Through an interactive life storybook, paired with music and games, the app “helps patients and families preserve yesterday’s memories, as well as share today’s joyful moments.”
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Those who have no need for such an app are very lucky. Today, too many people know the problem of helping and caring for someone with dementia. As people live ever longer lives, illnesses like Alzheimer’s have become more prevalent in society.
As tragic as dementia is, at least we can hope the people who suffer from it do not know it. But their loved ones do and suffer even more because of the emotional pain it causes them.
GreyMatters works by using old pictures with recordings of people speaking about the events depicted in them. The patient watches the pictures and listens to the audio in an effort to help them remember things they have forgotten.
This is an example of one of many different memory exercises used to help people with diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The company’s founder and CEO is the graphic designer Jenny Rozbruch. She began working on GreyMatters as her master’s thesis project in the School of Visual Arts MFA Design program. The app was inspired by Jenny’s late grandmother, Frieda, who suffered from advanced vascular dementia for over six years, and received care from her family. Despite Frieda’s loss of short term memory & independent functioning, Jenny witnessed how her long term memory and spirit could be drawn out dramatically through simple activities like looking through photos from her youth, listening to familiar Yiddish music, and hearing her life story told back to her. Jenny set out to create a product that would make it easier to tap into these remaining–yet often hidden–abilities in people with dementia, and help family members of all ages connect with their loved ones.