Granddaughter of woman with dementia invents photo app to stay connected

When Jenny Rozbruch observed her grandmother’s experiences with dementia, she knew that despite how withdrawn Frieda Rozbruch had become, she was still present. So Jenny set out to invent an easy way for Frieda to hold onto memories and connect with her family. Jenny is the founder, CEO, and designer of the tablet application GrayMatters. Described as a “digital scrapbook,” the app is designed for people with dementia. The website of GreyMatters states that the app “aims to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. Through an interactive life storybook…the app helps patients and families preserve yesterday’s memories.” Photos can be uploaded to the app, and paired with text, voice recordings, or music familiar to the individual with dementia. The website also notes that the application was specifically designed with accessibility in mind, “from scale, color & text style to the simplicity of interactive elements on the screen.”

GrayMatters represents how people are beginning to use technology to address issues of the mind, in this case, to trigger memories of loved ones through photos, explanations, and music.

According to the website, “Jenny set out to create a product that would make it easier to tap into these remaining–yet often hidden–abilities in people with dementia, and help family members of all ages connect with their loved ones.” Through technological inventions such as this, we can expect to further our tools for staying connected to people with dementia.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

GreyMatters Promo Video from Jennifer Rozbruch on Vimeo.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.