Hearing your favorite song can bring back a lot of memories. Vera, a new wellness app, is working to use the power of a tune by personalizing music for older adults living with dementia to improve cognitive function.
Vera customizes its music stations by using AI technology to track your favorite artists and genres, as well as cultural information about where you grew up, your age and the language you speak.
“By integrating personally significant music into the activities of daily living for the person with dementia, Vera assists caregivers in the challenging moments of care brought on by changing moods and behaviors,” according to the app’s homepage. “The right music at the right time can help improve mood, communication and quality of life.”
According to Vera’s designer Music Health, targeting this information can help listeners with dementia retrieve lost memories and improve their motor function and sleep, while decreasing agitation.
“It acts as a music detective that rediscovers songs they used to love a long time ago but may have forgotten about, which their caregivers may have never heard of, and their families may not even know of,” Music Health co-founder Stephen Hunt told Drug Store News.
Music therapy also helps dementia caregivers by lowering distress and increasing social engagement.
“Music-based psychosocial interventions may provide effective management of behavioral symptoms in persons with dementia,” the study reads. “Nonverbal sociable interactions significantly increased in those who completed [music therapy]. … Family/caregiver distress … showed significant improvement.”
Caregivers and older adults who are interested in exploring the benefits of music through Vera can start a free trial of the program through the Walgreens Find Care App.