Sunday, July 29, 2012

What Day Is It? Senior Memory Refresher Software

What Day is it? is a software program developed for people who suffer from memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease.

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The software runs on a PC and continually displays such things as the time and date but more importantly the program displays information about the senior’s life.  This continual repetitious display of information is meant to refresh the senior’s lost memory.

The software both educates and entertains as most seniors describe the program’s display as having their TV on.  The program is meant to run continuously on a PC located near the senior.  The PC will eventually become a companion to the senior and will serve as a continuous source of information that will remind and inform the senior of common knowledge that the senior has forgotten.  It will hopefully offer some relief to the senior’s caregiver(s) and/or family.
A sample program window is shown below.  As you can see the day and time are displayed at the top.  The date is displayed at the bottom.  If you know anyone who suffers from Alzheimer’s then this information would be very helpful.  A sample slide is shown in the center of the window.  The slide consists of a colorful picture over written with text.  The text gradually builds and appears as though it is being typed.  This text building effect is fascinating to watch because you wonder what you are going to learn next.   

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The typed text also has a 3-dimensional appearance in that the letters have a black shadow.  In the screen-shot above, you can see that the text seems to be slightly above the picture.

The person who designs the slide is usually the caregiver.  This person determines the content of each slide.  Anything on a slide can be edited and/or changed by the caregiver both when creating the slide and at anytime thereafter.  The pictures can be anything from the senior’s life.  A digital camera and/or family photo collection would be great sources for pictures.  You can also have a slide without a picture.

Pictures are easily transferred to your PC using a memory card reader.  These readers are readily available and plug into a USB port. 
Program Options

There are a number of program options in the WDII program.  Each feature or option can be turned ON/OFF by clicking on that feature in the Configuration windows.

The WDII program options are:
  • Mention Holidays – The program will display information concerning holidays.
  • Mention Birthdays – You can input the names and birthdays of relatives and as those days occur, the birthdays will be announced.
  • Show Seasonal Effects – Pictures of seasonal effects will be shown.   You can add your own pictures or show ones that come pre-installed with the software.
  • Mention Special Events – Special events will be shown such as the day that the senior got married.
  • Play Music – You can have a list of songs that can be played while the WDII program is running.  A number of options are available to control when the songs are heard.
  • Sleep Timer Enabled – In order for the Sleep Timer to work it must be enabled.

There is also a button where you can access the Windows Volume control and adjust the volume of the music playing.  This is similar to clicking on the Speaker Icon in the tray on the lower right hand corner of the Windows Desktop. 

The WDII program can tell the senior about holidays, birthdays and special events.  The program can also play music and the senior’s favorite songs can be set to play at different times throughout the day.

Cost: Complete software program and operating instructions $59.

Developer: Computer Products for Education

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