Free smartphone app incorporates nostalgia to trigger memories in people with dementia
A new smartphone app, created by the Minnesota Historical Society, can help people with dementia recapture old memories through reminiscence therapy.
The free app, called My House of Memories, features more than 100 pages of carefully selected images that aim to prompt memories from the lives of people with dementia. It is aimed at dementia patients as well as their caregivers.
Users can tap through pictures of objects or events that were popular during their childhood, such as a 1950s kitchen, a concert ticket, or a pair of Converse All Stars.
Each image is enhanced with sound, music and descriptions, and the app provides a way to help dementia patients explore things that resonate with them. Favourite objects can be saved to a digital memory tree, box, or timeline.
My House of Memories is a form of reminiscence therapy, which encourages people with dementia to talk about past experiences, usually with the help of visual prompts, in a bid to trigger memories. Reminiscence therapy is a popular method of improving dementia patients’ mental, emotional, and social aspects of health.