The hope is that the aptly named FaceDementia app, developed by Alzheimer’s Research UK, will raise greater awareness about the degenerative disease.
So how does it work?
Users personal Facebook page is essentially ‘taken over’ by the app which temporarily erases important details, status updates and personal photos or memories – mimicking how dementia affects sufferers.
But their real page remains intact. Instead of scrambling or disturbing the users real time Facebook information, the app works by presenting an overlay that hides the person’s social history and interaction.
Short videos that feature those affected by the disease in real life will also allow users to understand the impact of the effects of the disease, as simulated by the FaceDementia app.
“Facebook’s appeal is that it can gather your friends and family and keep them close, with memories and contacts all contained within one space. It also develops a diary of your life since you joined the site and documents your thoughts and musings during that time,” Rebecca Wood, the chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK explains.
Wood believes the Facebook app features to illustrate how thoughts and memories can be confused – or forgotten altogether – as experienced by some of the hundreds of thousands of people living with dementia.
She hopes that people will share the app with the friends and family and help improve general understanding of the disease.
“Stigma around dementia is due in part to a lack of public awareness and understanding, so FaceDementia will be invaluable in helping people better understand the condition.”