New Memory Assistant Reduces Senior Confusion and Frustration, Helps Relieve Family Caregivers of Worry and Stress
EAST LANSING, Mich., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Memo (www.memotouch.com) is a revolutionary new memory assistant that helps seniors with short-term memory loss maintain their independence and age in their own home. Introduced today, the custom software which operates on an Android tablet allows family members to provide their aging parent or loved one with reminders to manage everyday activities even when they are miles away.
Memo is a breakthrough product designed specifically for persons with memory loss and the people who care for them. Elders need no computer experience to use it. "If they can watch TV, they can use a Memo," says Memo co-founder Carrie Beia. Family members manage the information displayed on the Memo remotely from a companion caregiver website. They can add and update reminders from home, work, or wherever they have internet access.
Memo meets the needs of the two million Americans age 75+ with short-term memory loss, which can have devastating effects on their ability to manage everyday activities. Missed appointments, forgotten medications, and chronic confusion often create difficulties for the elder as well as for their caregiver. Family members carry the burden of constant repetition, frequent interruptions, and disruption of work and family life coming to the assistance of their parent or loved one. For caregivers, Memo is a timesaver, alleviating the time-consuming calls and visits necessary to help their loved one stay on top of everyday activities. It helps relieve caregiver worry, guilt and stress.
"Memo establishes an entirely new product category of memory assistants designed to reduce the confusion and loss of independence caused by memory impairment," says Merilee Griffin, Ph.D., president of Memo Touch, LLC. Memo can be easily customized to meet the needs of people with a wide range of abilities. Memo's display can be as simple as the day, date and time and a single reminder, or it can include optional features such as a calendar, to-do list, the weather, phone numbers, a list of medications, and photo albums. A Help button is available to automatically send a text, email or both to the caregiver if needed.
Because access to the caregiver website can be shared among siblings, aides, assisted living staff, and other helpers, Memo facilitates communication and coordination of care. Everyone with access can see the messages, calendar items, to-do lists, and medications. It eliminates the additional responsibility typically placed on the primary caregiver to keep all interested parties informed.
By inputting information on a companion website, family members can post:
- A "crawl line" with personalized messages
- A calendar in daily or weekly view, with audio alerts
- Weather forecast
- A "To-Do" list
- A list of frequently-called phone numbers
- A list of medications by day of week and time of day
- Albums of family photos
The family can also make the Memo familiar and appealing by posting family photos and updates, plus reassuring messages that help to overcome distance from their loved ones. "Memo is your assistant that can be there when you can't, to remind your loved one of important tasks," said Griffin, who conceived of the idea while caring for her own aging mother.
Developed with the assistance of both clinical gerontologists and researchers, Memo is a solid solution for the problem of memory loss among the growing population of elders. Memo has been in test since January by real families experiencing the stress of caring for an elder with memory loss, and was enhanced with feedback from both elders and caregivers.
Memo operates on an Archos 101 ten-inch screen tablet, with the Android operating system and 1024 x 600 resolution. It requires an Internet connection in the users' home, with a wireless router strongly recommended. The Memo program overrides existing software on the tablet so the elder cannot accidentally get lost in a maze of applications, menus, or out in cyberspace.
Memo is priced at $299 for the tablet plus $174 for a six-month subscription to the companion caregiver website ($300 for a 12-month subscription). It can be ordered by visiting memotouch.com. Memo comes ready to go with a few clicks, along with recommendations for how to successfully introduce it into the home. The company offers a generous return policy if the elder has not embraced the product within three months. The tablet can be returned if not damaged, or converted to the original Android tablet, and the website subscription will be refunded for the remaining months.
Memo is offered by MemoTouch LLC of East Lansing, Michigan, formed in 2010 with the vision of producing a single, simple device to help ease the stress and daily disruption caused by short-term memory loss of elders and their caregivers alike. Dr. Griffin and Ms. Beia were motivated by the long-term and deeply emotional personal experience in caring for those with diminished memory.