New app helps dementia patients and families - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New app helps dementia patients and families

(Source: Allison Twaits) (Source: Allison Twaits)
(Source: Allison Twaits) (Source: Allison Twaits)
(KFVS) - More than five million Americans suffer from dementia, and that doesn't even count the family members of dementia patients.

Now, technology is making it easier to relate to loved ones who might have the disease.The iPad app called GrayMatters incorporates a lot of the same tools caregivers already use like memory recognition but with a more personal touch.

The app lets folks upload personal photos, music and videos.

Kathy Bullis, a caregiver with Aging Matters, says the personal touch and familiarity is what patients lack most, so she says she would recommend it for family members to use with their loved ones.

“They may be able to tell you who was in their second grade class but they might not be able to tell you what they had for breakfast. So, we want to access those long-term memories because it is going to be more successful. That is why you might want the old videos and the old photos,” said Bullis.

Bullis says the new technology is also helpful because it's portable and easy-to-use, which helps younger family members have better interactions with their older relatives.

Yet, there were some caregivers who say they didn't like the app, calling it too confusing for patients to understand.

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