Local grandad inspires hi-tech app to help people with dementia

Photograph Jamie Forbes 7.8.13 Milton of Campsie, Caroline Howes has invented iPad app to help people with dementia. Grandad John Alexander has dementia. Caroline with her Grandparents John and Asta Alexander.
Photograph Jamie Forbes 7.8.13 Milton of Campsie, Caroline Howes has invented iPad app to help people with dementia. Grandad John Alexander has dementia. Caroline with her Grandparents John and Asta Alexander.

A 91-year-old Milton of Campsie man has inspired a pioneering new electronic game which could help to reach people affected by dementia.

Entrepreneur Caroline Howes came up with the Memory-Match iPad application – based on the traditional game ‘pairs’ – after visiting grandfather John Alexander.

Caroline, who grew up in the village and attended Craighead Primary, said: “I was playing a game of pairs with my grandfather, himself a patient with dementia, and we were using a deck of cards with images of classical composers on them.

“It struck me then 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!

“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.”

Caroline (33) is the founder of Memory Lane Games and hopes the game – for which there is a small charge – will have a beneficial impact.

The former Lenzie Academy pupil said an ‘android’ version of the game is planned for later this year. Memory Lane Games also offers a printing service for physical packs of personalised playing cards.

For more information, visit https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/memory-match/id657386616

Caroline is pictured with grandparents John and Asta Alexander.

* Have you got a story, picture or comment? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk

Alternatively you can call the newsdesk 0141 775 0040, find us on Facebook or visit us on Twitter

Or you can log in below and have your say on the site...