For those living with memory problems, the condition can impact every aspect of their lives – and the lives of their caregivers.
“Most people in this predicament are living in their own homes, but they make the same phone calls multiple times a day,” says Merilee Griffin, who cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s. “A simple reminder is really all they need, but sticky notes and calendars can only help so much if you can’t remember what day it is.”
Griffin was struck with the idea for a device that could alleviate these issues while standing in line at her credit union, watching an electronic sign repeat the same message again and again. Though the technology for her product idea wasn’t available at the time, the advent of tablet computers allowed the project to move forward.
Griffin and her daughter Carrie Beia now own Memo Touch
of East Lansing. The women worked with clinical gerontologists, researchers and the software developers of Gravity Works
to create tablet software called “Memo” that helps patients suffering from memory loss have a higher quality of life.
“I hope it relieves a lot confusion for elderly people,” says Griffin. “If you haven’t had any memory loss it’s hard to understand how terribly confusing and chaotic life is all the time.”
Though the product has only been available since June, Griffin has already been approached by those who believe Memo could have even more applications, from assisting with obsessive-compulsive disorder to helping busy families stay organized.