Music is not just a source of entertainment. It is said to improve the mood and well-being of people with senile dementia. That’s why Australian start-up Music Health launched Vera, a platform that offers personalized playlists to seniors who want to delay the effects of cognitive decline for as long as possible.
Vera mainly focuses on people with dementia. The World Health Organization estimates that between 5 and 8% of seniors aged 60 and older suffer from this state of intellectual decline at some point. This was the case with the grandmother of Nicc Johnson, one of the founders of Vera. “My grandmother (Grandma) had Alzheimer’s disease at a time when dementia was not well understood. It was not until much later in my life that I learned that this is not a normal consequence of aging.”he explains on Vera’s website.
Nicc Johnson and his partner, Stephen Hunt, hope with Vera to help people with dementia and their loved ones fight cognitive aging. This application uses algorithms to create music playlists suitable for all senior users. The target ? Stimulate many areas of the brain and bring back memories.
Relaxation, dynamics, memory: 3 kinds of playlists
American researchers discovered in 2018 that: music improves the mood of people with senile dementia† To demonstrate this, they had about thirty patients from a retirement home listen to their favorite songs for about twenty minutes. Result: the participants in the study seemed more present and serene. They also had more contact with the people around them.
Vera hopes to have the same effect on elderly people with dementia. The platform analyzes millions of songs from the Universal Music group’s catalog to identify the songs that will most stimulate each senior’s cognitive system. “When a person arrives at the platform, we ask where they were born and when, and where they grew up between the ages of 15 and 35. If it was in Beijing, the music she bathed in will be very different from someone who lived in the United States.”told Stephen Hunt variety† These pieces are then divided into three types of playlists: those for relaxing, those for dynamism, and those for reminiscing.
Vera is currently available on iOS in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Seniors with dementia or their loved ones can take out a subscription (monthly or yearly). But the founders of the application especially want it to be used in retirement homes and institutions for the elderly.
(ETX Daily Up)