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Dementia Innovation Sparks Excitement in Surprise!

The Surprise visit last week of Brian Hall, VP at Memory Lane Games has fired up the Phoenix Senior Care community around the potential of a simple, frustration free engagement tool for those living with dementia.

Speaking at the Arizona Coalition on Aging, Brian shared a number of outcomes seen from the reminiscence program in both community care and home care settings. Particularly striking was the mutuality of benefit for both the person living with dementia and their care-giver. Amongst the examples covered, Brian referenced the work being pioneered by neurologists in the Philippines and in Speech & Language Pathology, notably in Boston MA.

An aspect of this initiative which is unusual in care tech, is its universality. Supported by a suite of training videos, the picture-book-like questions and answers can be delivered both by professional care-givers and family alike, maximizing on the familiar feel of the content for the user. Grandchildren too can get involved using the rich picture-based content to share memories with their seniors in a way that is comfortable to both.

Brian’s trip to Arizona was triggered both by the State’s density of senior care, but also the organization’s perception that the State has a holistic community approach. “You really put your seniors at the heart of your communities here,” he said.

The welcome for and engagement with the program has been so positive that Memory Lane Games are accelerating their plans to launch in Arizona, already joining the TechCelerator in Surprise and applying to join the MedTech program at Arizona State University.

Steve Laughary CEO at Arizona Coalition on Aging was part of the warm welcome Memory Lane Games enjoyed and said “Brian’s presentation to our network group in Glendale was both thought-provoking and moving in equal measure. The session drew some of the most enthusiastic engagement we have ever seen and the feedback since has been 100% positive.”

Debra Roubik of the Surprise AZ TechCelerator, who was instrumental in bringing Memory Lane Games to Surprise, attended a number of the introductory sessions. “You could feel the buzz in the room on every occasion” she said, “the stories of the positive effects for those living with dementia hit home, with people who know, understand and work with the condition. My own Mom had dementia and I really wish I could have used this with her”.

The first organization to sign up to a pilot of Memory Lane Games is Diamondback Healthcare in Phoenix. Catherine Goss - Director of Marketing and Business Development quickly saw the value in the initiative, "We are about to open our new Memory Care Pavilion, which is modelled as a centre of excellence in dementia care. Hearing the presentation on Memory Lane Games, it was clear that the initiative ties in closely with our vision to offer daily interactions which provide meaning to our resident's lives, satisfaction to their families, and the opportunity for our nurses to get a closer understanding of the individual's condition and how they can help. We believe this is a win-win opportunity".

Brian summed up, "As the Memory Lane Games program expands and more people become involved, we are excited to observe the insights gained from the Arizona implementation in particular. Something which was initially designed for the founders' mothers, is now helping families globally."

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