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Using MagicMirror as a dementia aid



  • Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone has every looked at using the MagicMirror software for dementia patients?

    I work in a hospital with dementia patients every day. Many in advanced stages basically sit there like vegetables, bored out of their minds, distressed and unable to communicate.

    We do have machines to deliver reminiscence therapy - similar to this - but the machines are £7500 each so we only have six across three hospitals.

    We also have dementia clocks - because dementia patients tend to lose track of times and days - which are about £70 but obviously they are aesthetically ugly as hell.

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    I have increasingly been thinking MagicMirror could be a much better solution. Firstly, the clock face could be much more aesthetically pleasing. Plus you could build in extra features.

    1. Allow phone and video calls from relatives.
    2. Allow friends and family to send photos either of themselves or ones for reminiscence, e.g, school and wedding photos.
    3. (Potentially) use the camera to monitor them and check they’re okay. This may sound creepy but remember the alternative for many is to send in carers to check up on them. And I can say from experience many people find the idea that they need to be checked up on very oppressive. But, obviously there’s a balance.

    Probably the best solution would be to host it and then access it using Android tablets as clients for simplicity’s sake because you don’t really want to need any interaction, it needs to be “set and forget” as much as possible.

    I would be really interested to hear people’s thoughts on this. My initial thoughts were to write an Android app or have it hosted on a website. But an app is less than ideal because everything is stored locally if something goes wrong. And a website doesn’t really feel like the right solution because they are designed to be interactive, and of course this is the exact opposite - it needs to be designed to be viewed easily, not interacted with.

    The ultimate aim would be that currently if we have a patient who gets on well with the £7,500 machines when they are discharged you have to say “sorry mate, tough luck, we need that back”. If you could load it onto a tablet, well, everyone has a spare tablet or can pick one up for less than £100. So it could be something they could take home with them.

    Any thoughts, positive or negative, very welcome.


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