Testing the MemorC app at One Kalakaua Senior Living, Honolulu, Hawaii

In the last several months, we’ve been testing our app to see what works and what doesn’t work*. One person who has helped us a great deal is Lute Manumanu, Lead Activities at One Kalakaua Senior Living a premier senior living community in Honolulu. She helped us with testing of seniors who live there by coordinating appointments, introductions and photographs. Lute started working at One Kalakaua Senior Living four years ago as a receptionist and was later promoted to become part of the management team at One Kalakaua Senior Living. Lute not only loves music, the color purple and the Pittsburgh Steelers football team; she’s also a “gamer” and proficient iPad user. We ended up learning a lot from each senior, ranging from those who had no cognitive impairment to those with moderate impairments. We were happy to find out that all seniors were able to enjoy the app!! Mahalo, our […]

Can life still be good?

When a person’s memory declines, how does it feel?  Can life still be good? On a bright and beautiful Sunday morning, we were invited to talk with May at her home in Manoa Valley.  May is a friendly, outgoing person.  Her daughter, Kathy, tells us that in the past she would greet all the bank tellers and store clerks by name.  Even though May’s memory has now declined, she continues to exude a positive, friendly persona that helps her live with warmth and grace. We had met May before and she had been at first a little nervous but that went away quickly.  She likes to chat, is curious about us, and happily retells stories from her life.   She tells us that she enjoys life and that she enjoys going on walks.  (She did say that she misses driving!!)  She also has friends and regular company from a caregiver.  She loves […]

How do you develop a “dementia-friendly” community?

Dr. Christy Nishita, a Researcher and Gerontologist at the Center on Aging, University of Hawai’I,  has thought about this a lot and recently  gave a presentation at the Kuakini Medical Center called “Building a Dementia Capable System in Hawaii.” I had a chance to chat with Dr. Nishita about inter-generational age-friendly projects in Honolulu such as organized walks where neighbors look for things that are unsafe or potentially harmful in the community. For example, during a walk folks may find tree roots coming up from under sidewalks and ask them to be removed for safety reasons. Dr. Nishita explained the idea of “dementia-friendly” communities which facilitate the inclusion for persons with dementia and promote their overall quality of life. Learn about age friendly Honolulu at http://agefriendlyhonolulu.com/dementia-friends/ Dr. Nishita is excited about a program in Seattle called “Momentia”. It is a grassroots movement empowering persons with memory loss and their loved ones […]

Meet one of our app testers

The MemoriesConnect team interviewed a recent app “tester” Marie-Louise Ansak and she is not your ordinary senior. Originally from Switzerland and a life-long traveler, she’s led an accomplished life. She’ll celebrate her 90th birthday in August. At the age of 65, Marie-Louise retired after an amazing career as a social worker in San Francisco Chinatown (see box at bottom). She then decided to sail around the world on her boat, “Dessert First” and, happily, she did so for 23 years. She is now enjoying her second retirement in Hawaii. Since she’s an experienced user of Apple’s Mac, iPhone and iPad, we asked her to review the MemoriesConnect app for us and to test both roles, one of the “Administrator” the person who sets up the app for the “User”, the person with memory problems. Marie-Louis easily sailed through the directions and the app setup. Later, she tested the app as the […]

Our thoughts as we move forward

Dr. Warren, Founder If you love older people, they love you back a lot more.  I learned that as a young doctor when I worked at a place called “On Lok” in San Francisco Chinatown. After many years of working as a geriatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii, I’m really excited about MemoriesConnect.  There’s nothing more important than love for an older person with memory problems. That’s the whole purpose of MemoriesConnect and we’re finally close to our first product! Please drop us a line.  We get a lot of great ideas on everything from design to marketing to future versions.  And there’s nothing like encouragement to keep us going. Holger Heine, App Developer I was born in the industrial Ruhr area of Germany, lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area and for the past couple of years, I am at home in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am a […]

And the Winner is . . .

Over the past several weeks, we received a good number of responses regarding the app’s name and icon.  Thank you all for your great contributions! But with so many excellent ideas, it was very difficult to choose. With several good options to choose from, the best name that we thought expresses the main goal of the app is: MemoriesConnect Deciding on the icon was another challenge. We wanted the icon to visually express memory, love and connection. As with the name before, there were many good candidates, making it difficult to pick one. After much deliberation and discussion, we chose the image below: Now, with the name and icon for the app settled, we are ready to continue testing the app. An updated and expanded version of the MemoriesConnect app will be available soon  and we are looking for additional Beta-Testers. If you are interested in Beta-Testing, please follow this link: […]

Meeting Caregivers at AARP’s Annual Conference

  Hawaii Caregivers Get a First Look at the New MemoriesConnect App! The team presented the MemoriesConnect App at AARP’s Annual Caregiving Conference Saturday, March 24,  at the Manoa Grand Ballroom, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. “AARP sponsors this conference to provide caregivers with knowledge and to relieve some of the stress that comes with providing the vital service of caring for others.” We are encouraged with the feedback and interest from the attendees and enjoyed the comments, questions and interactions. We are looking looking for Beta-Testers in April and if you are interested in Beta-Testing, please follow this link: https://memoriesconnect.com/2018/01/31/how-you-can-help-now/ In our Beta-Testing process, we ask testers about  ways to make this a comforting tool for a person with mild dementia. Our goal is to reach a level of simplicity in our App design while keeping the App challenging, engaging and fun.  

More Icon Design Ideas – We welcome your Feedback :)

We are still seeking input for the design of the MemorC App Icon. It is a difficult task to get it just right. The key themes that the icon should relate are: Connection Love Memory Here are four more design drafts that we are considering. Please let us know your thoughts. Which one best matches the app? And, look above — We’ve sprinkled in the below sample icons in the large image above to get a sense of the dimensions when seen on an iPad or iPhone. We look forward to hearing from you. Please be sure to also look at the design drafts in the previous post. Thank you.  

Small but Important: App Icon Design

Getting the icon for an app just right is not easy. We have been working with a number of designs for our MemorC app, but we have not yet found the design that would make all of us say: Yes, spot on, that’s it! Ideally, the icon for the app will visually express the purpose of the app: Helping people with mild memory problems stay connected with their loved ones. But how can we fit that into a small square that is displayed on a screen together with many other icons? Perhaps you can help? Take a look at the four icon drafts that we have so far:

Beta Testing: A Savvy Senior tells us “She Doesn’t like Tests.”

  “Jane” (not her real name) lives independently in Florida. She was visiting family in Hawaii and we were lucky to enlist her to be an early App Beta-Tester. While playing with the App, she started thinking about three friends who are cognitively not at the same level as they once were — and they are all aware of the (slight) cognitive decline, although they continue to live independently.  Jane explained that her friends may feel “intimidated” if they played this version of the App because it could feel as if it’s a test. She said, “you feel rated somehow in the script.”