Dallas ISD student helps create app to engage those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia

AlzBuddy app for seniors was designed by Naresh Tapiavala. – Photo courtesy of Dallas ISD

 

Dallas ISD

 

Vedant Tapiavala, a senior at Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted, and three of his friends – including a Plano ISD student – have developed an app to help Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients.

The AlzBuddy app is designed to help entertain and engage those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The three modules in the app allow a user to select sounds, games or pictures. Sounds include popular music from the 1940s forward, commercials, speeches, animals and miscellaneous sounds to listen to and reminisce. Games include color matching grids and other similar games. Pictures include political figures, household items, professional athletes, animals, holidays and other similar topics.

In November of 2019, an early version of the app took first place in the Congressional App Challenge in Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s district.

Vedant’s reason for helping build the app is that he has a lifelong interest in medicine, specifically neurosurgery.

“I have always been interested in exploring the unknown, and I also want to help people similar to those we are currently helping with AlzBuddy,” he said.

“I have a firm conviction that the Dallas Independent School District believes in providing opportunities to push students to be the best version of themselves and utilize their gifts to help the world around them.”

The work done by these students has not gone unnoticed by the Alzheimer’s Association.

“COVID-19 has caused such a sense of isolation for those caring for a loved one at home,” said Kathy Shockley, director and programs and services, at the Dallas and Northeast Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “It is incredibly inspiring to see young people take an active interest in improving the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.”

AlzBuddy is available to download at no charge on the Apple, Google Play, and Amazon app stores.

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