- Software which creates emotional connections and brings comfort on demand to those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias.
We have an awesome project… we bring joy and make connections! We are not talking about social networking here… we are talking about people, face to face, connecting.We have an awesome project… we bring joy and make connections! We are not talking about social networking here… we are talking about people, face to face, connecting. So what’s so special about that? EVERYTHING! Worldwide there are over 44 million people with dementia. And worse yet by 2050 that number will increase to an estimated 135 million if no cure is found for Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias.
We created Memory Modules as an application that the end user or their caregiver configure and personalize to include modules that are most meaningful to them. We currently have dozens of modules but need funds to acquire the rights to use professional photographs to create other modules and enhance the ones that we have.
If you would like to see how it works you can view our video:
Music makes connections to our past as well as photographs and professionals agree that adding music to our application would increase our ability to bring joy and make connections. In order to do so we would need to drive the pricing up for our clients with subscriptions to streamed music or by having them individual purchase the song they want through iTunes or another source. To keep things as simple as we can for the users we plan to buy the rights to the music we need for our application and the legal work to ensure we and our clients are protected.
We have recently formed MEternally, LLC and have three partners that have been together since the beginning. The three original team members are:
Myself, Sally Inglett, a non traditional senior at Winona State University with over twenty years of experience supporting the technology and networking at several nursing care/assisted and independent living facilities. I have been working in Information Technology full time since 1990 and have currently hold several industry certifications to include Comptia A+, Hewlett Packard Certified repair technician, and Apple Certified Mac Hardware and Operating System certifications. I am the sole proprietor for “Computer Lady” have owned my own IT consulting business since 1999.
Christopher “Kai” Hanson is the lead developer and user interface specialist and is a full time student. In student employment he works for Winona State University’s network security team while working towards his Computer Science Human Computer Interaction degree.
Nathan Snyder is a recent college graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Nathan has since specialized in e-Commerce support for Walt Disney Corporation and text message marketing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nathan is handling the business aspects along with social media and the website.
We have recently brought in a fourth partner, Kay Mathews, with over twenty years of accounting and business experience and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting. We have several consultants assisting including a professional photographer and a geriatric educator.
In addition to our team we have worked with multiple care facilities, caregivers and those with dementia. We have also met with Alzheimer’s researchers and used their input to ensure that our product is meaningful and usable to our target audience (those with Alzheimer’s disease).
To date we have done all of the leg work and used our own money, but without bringing in a major investor we find we will continue to crawl and risk losing the momentum we have going. We previewed our beta software at the Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conference in St Paul this month and had a very favorable response including people wanting to purchase our software on the spot. The key things they liked the most were the simplicity, the flexibility, the purpose and meaning behind the software.
When Memory Modules run they may be viewed by not only the person with the software, but others while coming and going. By creating the subliminal message of what you love, you open up a channel with others and make a connection whether verbal or not. When a nurses aid enters a room at a facility, or a grandchild visits their grandparent at home, they can make a connection by seeing what is of importance and can make conversation or a personal connection by knowing something about the person. Maybe there are farm scenes on the screen and the viewer makes mention to the user that their family used to live on a farm and had chickens. It now gives the viewer a connection with the person before they had their disease. This connection can strengthen and give the viewer even more reason to treat this person with dignity and respect, whether they are able to respond or not.
With time it is not difficult to slip into recognizing a loved one by their disease and no longer see the person that they once were, and still are inside. Reconnecting brings joy and comfort to everyone affected by a dementing illness. Many feel helpless and that there is nothing they can do for their loved one. With MEternally Memory Modules they can create custom memory modules which can be recalled on demand by their loved one. For long distance caregivers who can’t be there daily, they can bring their mother or father, sister, brother, spouse, or other loved one: To the family farm, a snow storm, fireworks, a national park, fishing, to the golf course, or even to the flower garden, or the Big Apple. We can also create these modules ourselves specifically for the client.
Not only can they reconnect by going places, they can also go back in time and view a grocery store in the 1940s, shopping for a cars in the 50s, or be a flower child in the 60s. These enhanced experiences can bring comfort and joy to those who may not necessarily be living in the same time as we are due to their dementia. The recall of the memories which we help our user create can be therapeutic not only for them but for their care partners, friends and family.
Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias not only rob the person of their memory but also present the family and loved ones with a stranger in their midst. The reminder of who that person is (not was), and things that they love translate into an experience of dignity, love and respect.
This project will conclude when we have created the additional galleries using pictures and music that we have rights to use legally. Once we have purchased the content, we will be able to enhance our program to allow us to roll out both our custom configuration for individuals and out of the box solution for facilities to use in their activity programs.
Click below to view a 2 minute video showing the state of our demo software (no sound in this video). The production version will have pictures scaled to full screen size.
We appreciate that you have taken the time to watch the videos and read about our project. We hope that you want to join our vision.
Feel free to visit us online at www.MEternally.com
Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
One of the major challenges is finding time to dedicate to our project between school and jobs. If we are very discreet with the funding you provide we could potentially work full time over the summer months and make our timeline even faster. Working around schedules, especially during testing phases where we are coordinating with facilities and spending time with end users takes serious dedication. If we are fully funded or even over funded it opens up more of our work time to dedicate to making our dream a reality.
We have been on our project for 18 months already and have hit our main obstacles already, and the funding provided will resolve the legal, content, equipment and time constraints that already exist.
Our greatest risk is losing momentum. We have found that we work best with deadlines and without funding we will not move forward.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our project.