This week, our Campaign Director, Grace Meadows, has been in the press endorsing a brilliant new dementia management tool called Vera.
Vera is an intuitive app that analyses the age of the person living with dementia, where they grew up, and how they react to certain music. It then uses these criteria to autonomously curate the right songs, at the right times, to effectively manage the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD).
Vera, which has just launched on Apple’s AppStore, uses the world’s largest music catalogue from Universal Music Group, including the most most diverse and culturally rich collection of blues, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, R&B, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and soundtracks. AI-driven, the app autonomously curates the songs and plays them directly via speakers or headphones.
Grace Meadows, Campaign Director at Music for Dementia said: “This app is an extremely exciting development in the world of digital personalised musical offers for people living with dementia. I would really encourage our supporters to try it out”
More than 80 percent of people living with dementia experience BPSD, manifesting as agitation, aggression, depression, or confusion. Vera stimulates the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory to help manage the impact of BPSD, easing the care routine of those living with dementia. Listening to personally significant music – all the noteworthy songs from our own life – is shown to effectively decrease the effects of BPSD helping to improve mood, cognitive function, motor functions and brain plasticity.
The launch of Vera has all been able to happen thanks to a rigorous three-year development process involving global research and development of the underlying technology by Music Health, which allows Vera to curate the perfect song at the right time for every individual listener.
Stephen Hunt, Music Health co-founder, said: “We’ve built Vera to know and find the music that means the most and has the biggest effect for each person living with dementia. It acts like a music detective, that seeks out tunes that they used to love a long time ago but may have forgotten about, which their carers may have never heard of, and their families may not even know.”
The announcement of the Vera app follows the launch at Universal Music UK of the Power Of Music report, from UK Music and Music for Dementia, which outlines a blueprint to use music to help transform communities and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing. It includes a commitment from Universal Music UK to develop a dynamic online resource which will serve as a music and dementia information hub.
Grace concludes: “Research shows that music is much more impactful for people living with dementia when it holds meaning and is associated with moments from someone’s life. In our recently launched Power of Music report, which sets out how we can be harnessing the power of music more to support health and wellbeing, we emphasised the need for a personalised approach to embedding music in health and social care, and the Vera App helps carers to do that.”