Whenever the MemorySparx team has a meeting, we leave a seat at the table to represent the person living with dementia. Everything that we do - from our product design to customer care - is done with that person in mind.
The person who has driven my own mission since Day One has been my grandmother, Jean. She and I were very close when I was a child, and her experience with Alzheimer’s disease had a lasting effect on me. When I got to a point in my life at which I had the technology expertise to do so, I vowed to create a tool that would help people like my grandmother to live with greater independence and dignity. And I wanted to do it right.
We took our time and did our research. We partnered with the Murray Alzheimer’s Research and Education Project to respectfully engage people and their care partners. We found out what they needed in order to feel more prepared and less anxious for their daily routines and interactions. We discovered what features had the combined “superpower” to help them organize and recall important information when they needed it. We spent over 2 years ensuring that our design was just right for people living with dementia.
The result was MemorySparx One, a friendly, elegant iPad app that has become a trusted tool at healthcare appointments, visits with grandchildren and peaceful moments of reflection. MemorySparx One has been heralded by our users as having a “profound effect” on their lives. We knew that if we got the core product right, it would unlock the potential to help the person as they moved further along in their dementia journey. I thought of my grandmother, Jean, whose time in a care facility was not a positive one, and I wanted to extend that notion of independence and dignity even as cognitive skills declined and people needed more participatory care.
Along the way, we learned through continued rigorous research how MemorySparx needed to evolve in order to help the person living with dementia – we talked to and learned from families and home care businesses, residential care facilities and long-term care homes. We wanted to extend the mission of “fostering independence and dignity” to include the care team and families, so that everyone in the circle could contribute to that mission and also perform their respective roles with more meaningful insights, better access to health/personal information and improved communications.
Today marks a joyful announcement for us, as we introduce MemorySparx Connect. At the heart of MemorySparx Connect you will find the same intentional design and useful features – and now the entire care team (family members, physicians, therapists, etc.) will be able to connect with the person living with dementia and with each other. As long as the person living with dementia wants to be included in discussions about their lives and their care, they will be able to use the app, but then as their journey progresses, family members and the entire care team can continue to use it to support each other in the ongoing care of that person.
MemorySparx Connect is a delightfully easy web-based tool, usable from any device, that allows everyone in the care circle to contribute in a more positive, efficient and useful way. MemorySparx Connect provides a a place to share all of the little things that make a person unique and all of the things that matter to them: their likes and dislikes, their talents, details about their relationships, careers, and hobbies, who is on their care team, and even what their favorite outfits are.
This information enriches their interactions with a caregiver, helps caregivers create custom, person-centered plans, and helps resolve or even avoid challenging behavioral issues. In addition to this helpful information, MemorySparx Connect also includes a way to communicate quickly across the care-circle, to share details about daily activities but also to ask questions or discuss challenges, which empowers the care team to take care of small issues before they turn into larger ones.
When we give caregivers and families tools like this, we will see increased efficiency, empowered and engaged caregivers, and a more positive and enriched care experience.
Although we have only just launched MemorySparx Connect, we are proud to be piloting our solution at Woodingford Lodge and the Waiting To Launch program in Oxford County, with Homecare Assistance in Kitchener-Waterloo and Oakville, and with Highview Residences in Kitchener and London, Ontario.
If you are interested in hearing more about how MemorySparx Connect can empower and engage your staff, deliver high-quality person-centered care, and help you stand out from the competition, please reach out. We would be happy to work with you.