Two enterprising law graduates have developed a ground-breaking new app to help those suffering from dementia.
ForgetMeNot is an app which aims to aid communication between loved ones, carers, and those living with dementia through the use of reminiscence therapy, a breakthrough body of research in the field.
The app is tailored to allow families, carers, and those living with the illness to recount fond memories of the past, through the use of the senses.
Niamh Murray graduated with first-class honours in law and business from University College Cork in 2021, and will start her training contract with Matheson in 2023.
Niamh has also passed all eight FE-1s over the last year, while working on the development of ForgetMeNot.
Co-founder Amy Boyden graduated with a Bachelors in Law from University College Cork in 2020, then completed her Master’s in Public International Law at Utrecht University last June.
The app the duo have developed allows family members and carers to all interact under one profile.
Unique family code
ForgetMeNot will provide a unique family code that can be shared with family members, loved ones, and carers to allow each user to access this digital memory book.
The app allows families and carers to use moments of the past to have conversations in the present, with communication tools to enhance the sense of self, boost mood, and slow down cognitive decline.
The three featured tools – photos, music and voice recordings – provide a simple means of practising reminiscence therapy, a practice with proven benefits for the person living with dementia.
The founders had personal experience communicating with those living with dementia.
Both Niamh and Amy had grandmothers with dementia, and each elderly lady enjoyed looking at childhood photos and singing their favourite songs from the past.
Niamh and Amy, who met while studying at University College Cork, quickly realised the importance of a practice they had been doing with their loved ones for a number of years.
Having seen first-hand the benefit of reminiscence therapy, the duo wanted to create an easily accessible method for others to connect with their loved ones.
Co-founder Niamh said: “Like the Forget-Me-Not flower, we believe that, with the help of others, a person with dementia can prosper and grow. We look forward to seeing the positive impact the app will make in the field of dementia care.”
There are 55,000 people in Ireland with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and one in 20 people over 65 are diagnosed.
Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, with a new diagnosis every few seconds.
“I found it quite interesting to see how the relationship between law and entrepreneurship can be intertwined,” Niamh told Gazette.ie.
The benefit was twofold, she believes.
Running a start-up business certainly helped in the study of law, especially in the areas of company and commercial law, and helped to set a contextual basis to what she was learning.
“Studying law definitely helped in my understanding of the legal requirements for our business,” she adds.
It also piqued Niamh’s interest in corporate law and stirred a keen interest in tech and innovation.
The app is now available for download on Google Play store.
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