Sep 26, 2017

Google Street View Helps Dementia Patients to Take a Ride Down Memory Lane

BikeAround pairs a stationary bike with Google Street View to take dementia patients on a virtual ride down memory lane.

BikeAround Google Street View
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

This new technology really blew me away. I could see this working very effectively with people living with Alzheimer's.

Imagine allowing your loved one the ability to bike around the neighborhood where they were born. Or, use it to go home.

I like this because it gives the dementia patient a real experience; and, I believe this would help patients to become calmer and easier to deal with. Any activity that a person living with dementia engages in usually leads to better behavior.

Anne-Christine wants to help people living with dementia to preserve old memories. She built a prototype called BikeAround, which pairs a stationary bike with Google Street View to take dementia patients on a virtual ride down memory lane.

Patients input a street address of a place that means something to them - a childhood home for instance - and then use the pedals and handlebars to “bike around” their old neighborhoods.

Take a look.

Research indicates that our strongest memories are intensely tied to location. It’s no coincidence that when you think about any big memory or past event, your first thought is often “Where was I when that happened?”

BikeAround taps into this idea, by combining mental stimulation from surrounding the patient with places they recognize, and physical stimulation from pedaling and steering. Scientists think this pairing produces dopamine in the brain and has the potential to affect memory management in a profound way.

Keyword - mental stimulation. Mental stimulation helps people living with dementia to live a better life. It often brings out the best in them.

More importantly, this also allows caregivers to live a better life; and, enjoy a better relationship with their loved one.

More from the Alzheimer's Reading Room on YouTube

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How to Understand the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's

How to Change Patterns of Behavior in Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).

The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

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