Dementia Care at Home: How MATCH App is Improving it with Music?
3 weeks ago
“Please remember the real me when I can’t remember you”.
It is a sentence spoken by a patient who is diagnosed with dementia.
Dementia slowly takes away the memories of the patients so the happiness of their family members.
Therefore, it is painful for carers to perform dementia care at home, especially when there is a lack of an ideal care plan.
An everyday scenario in dementia care at home
“More than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide”. (Source: WHO)
Approximately, 60% to 70% live in long-term care or communities while the rest is taken care of by their family members.
People diagnosed with dementia have common symptoms like agitation, anxiety, and depression, and managing these symptoms effectively is the greatest challenge for the family carers and caregivers.
Hitting, kicking, biting, and screaming are common reactions of dementia patients. This results in burnout, stress, and the capacity to cope with dementia care at home.
As a result, the family carer places his or her loved ones in residential communities or aged care, often leaving them with feelings of guilt.
But music can help!
We all have experienced that music helps us in getting over bad moods and stress but there is a scientific reason behind that.
Music releases endorphins that support relieving pain, stress, and the end, pleasant mental well-being. Not only this but it also evokes dopamine which positively affects our behavior, thinking skills, and emotions.
People living with dementia have short-term memories but still, they can recall lyrics, melodies, and the event associated with the music.
There are two scientific reasons behind this.
- Music stimulates autobiographical recall (Case-study)
- Dementia can’t affect the area in which our memories of music are stored
These all prove that music has a positive impact on patients diagnosed with dementia.
In case you are wondering, here is a screenshot from the real-world case study.
However, it is important to consider that not every type of music gives positive outcomes. It sometimes makes the situation more worse for dementia care at home.
For instance, music that gives calmness to the patient in the morning can result in agitation in the evening.
But technology has a workable solution to this concern!
Dementia care at home using an app called MATCH
MATCH stands for Music Attuned Technology – Care via eHealth.
Their vision is to make a better care environment and bring peace of mind into the lives of people diagnosed with dementia and those who are involved in their care journey using the power of music.
It guides both family and professional carers in the use of music intentionally and mindfully when caring for their loved ones.
So, here are some frequently asked questions regarding the MATCH app.
Question-1: How to perform dementia care at home using the app?
MATCH comes up with 5 learning modules that completely assist both family and professional caregivers in learning mindful use of music.
Question-2: What are some common features of the app?
It comes up with 2 powerful features.
1. Modules as per the needs
MATCH app can recommend a relevant module to patients' and carers' needs.
It also has a relational needs module that helps the couple to build a strong relationship even in the worst-case scenario.
2. Training module
MATCH has created training modules that contain answers to every possibility. This helps the carer to fulfill the real-time needs of the patients.
3. IoT or wearable sensors
It’s not easy for the carer to take care of the patients 24/7.
So, when the carer is unavailable, the wearable device or healthcare IoT continuously examines patients’ behaviors.
Once the data is stored in the system, AI and ML algorithms play their respective roles to create a music list (based on tempo, volume, and style) that completely suits every behavior of the patients.
This is one of the major use cases of AI in healthcare.
`````Question-3: Is there any proof that the app is helping with dementia care at home?
MATCH is an Australia-based health tech startup that is currently serving families in Australia.
It has raised $2 million AU from the MRFF (Medical Research Future Fund). With this funding, they are currently improving their AI algorithms and wearable sensors.
MATCH is going to launch its carer training program in 2023 and will launch the product in 2025 in a global market.
This is how a combination of music and technology is changing the lives of patients, families, and carers.
However, this hybrid model is still in a development phase which also indicates that in the near future, we will see more health tech startups that are focusing on dementia care at home using the combination of app and music!