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Sparking Joy and Connections: How a Gaming App Enriches Lives of Those with Dementia

Written by: Lauren Strait

On this week’s episode of Health Futures, Taking Stock in You, Bruce Eliot joins us to discuss how Memory Lane Games aids in neurological engagement and monitoring, aligning with CMS’s dementia care initiatives to support caregivers and enhance patient lives.

For the Full Episode, CLICK HERE.

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A Simple Idea Becomes a Global Phenomenon

In a cozy pub in the UK back in 2019, Bruce Elliott and his friend were lamenting their aging mothers’ conditions — one with vascular dementia and the other with Alzheimer’s. Amid their conversation, a brilliant idea struck: what if they could turn old family photos into games? Thus, Memory Lane Games was born the very next day.

The Power of Reminiscence

What started as a passion project for their mothers quickly gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app, featuring simple multiple-choice questions based on nostalgic images, tapped into the power of reminiscence for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. With a focus on sociability rather than scoring, the games sparked conversations, laughter, and a feeling of success for users.

A Global Embracement

In a recent interview on the Health Futures, Taking Stock in You radio show, Bruce Elliott, CEO and co-founder of Memory Lane Games, shared the company’s incredible journey. From a mere 100,000 downloads pre-marketing to games played in over 100 countries, the app has struck a chord worldwide.

Tailored for Underserved Communities

One of the app’s strengths lies in its ability to cater to underserved communities. By partnering with organizations like the Filipino National Alzheimer’s Association, Memory Lane Games has created culturally significant games, ensuring representation and accessibility for diverse populations.

A Tool for Engagement and Monitoring

Beyond reminiscence, the app has proven its value as an engagement tool for various neurological conditions. With real-time data tracking clinical metrics like accuracy and duration, Memory Lane Games is exploring opportunities for remote monitoring and integration with telehealth services.

A Partner in Dementia Care

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rolls out its Guiding Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) program, Memory Lane Games is poised to become a valuable technology partner. By providing an easy-to-use app that supports caregiver education, respite services, and health equity, the company aims to enhance the lives of those living with dementia and their loved ones.

What began as a simple idea in a pub has blossomed into a global phenomenon, bringing joy, engagement, and a sense of connection to those navigating the challenges of cognitive decline. Memory Lane Games’ appearance on Health Futures, Taking Stock in You radio show and podcast showcased the power of innovation rooted in compassion and the ability of technology to make a profound impact on the lives of others.

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