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Scottish grandfather inspires dementia app

A 91-year-old grandfather is the inspiration behind a new iPad app designed to help people with dementia.

33-year-old Caroline Howes was visiting her grandfather John Alexander, who has dementia, in Kirkintilloch. During a round of the traditional card game Pairs, featuring images of classical composers, Ms. Howe realised “that a deck of cards using photos of our family members would be equally as fun, and more relevant for him, than repeatedly reinforcing images of Handel, Bach, and Mozart!”

Ms. Howes explained how this realisation led her to develop the iPad app: “I started to make my own packs of cards for him with our family photos on them, then one morning had an idea that it could actually be a digital game.

“The iPad version really was one of those ‘why did I not think of going digital earlier’ sort of lightbulb moments! I’m really excited about the possibilities of the app for families living with, and caring for, family members with dementia. It is incredible just how many people have been touched by it.”

Ms. Howe’s company, Memory Lane Games, plans to release a version of the app for Android devices later this year. The company also offers printing of physical personalised playing cards.