Dementia Management Tool ‘Vera’ Launches with UMG’s Music Catalog

UMG Vera
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UMG Vera
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Photo Credit: Eduardo Barrios

A new music intervention tool to assist with dementia management called Vera is on the App Store. The app utilizes Universal Music Group’s (UMG) music catalog.

Vera allows caregivers to develop personalized music stations that can help improve the lives of those living with dementia. The app is available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the United States.

“Research shows that music is much more impactful for people living with dementia when it holds meaning and is associated with moments from someone’s life,” says Grace Meadows, Campaign Director, Music for Dementia.

“In our recently launched Power of Music report, which sets out how we can be harnessing the power of music more to support health and wellbeing, we emphasized the need for a personalized approach to embedding music in health and social care and the Vera app helps carergivers to do that,” Meadows adds.

The power of personalized music to affect a significant improvement in cognitive function for people in dementia care is evidenced by international scientists and neurologists, including award-winning neuroscientist and best-selling author, Daniel J. Levitin. “While there is no curative treatment for dementia, the proactive management of modifable risk factors can delay or slow onset or progression of the disease,” adds Dr. Ren Minghui from the World Health Organization.

Vera analyzes the age of the dementia affected person, where they grew up, and how they react to certain music. It uses these criteria to anonymously curate the right songs at the right times to effectively manage the behavioral and psychological Symptoms of Dementia. More than 80% of people living with dementia experience behavior and psychological symptoms which manifest as agitation, aggression, depression, or confusion.

Vera says it stimulates the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory to help manage the impact of these episodes. It may also help ease the care routine of those living with dementia by playing personally significant music to improve mood, cognitive function, motor functions, and brain plasticity.

Vera curates songs from UMG’s music catalog offering a diverse collection of blues, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, R&B, reggae, rock n’ roll, soul, and soundtracks. The songs are curated and played directly from the Vera app via speakers or headphones.

Vera is a product of Australian collaborative innovation. Music Health credits Barossa Village, Dementia Australia, the Australian Department of Health and the Global Centre for Modern Ageing (GCMA) for helping realize the innovation since 2019.