Sofia Klein
Defining Social-Tech With A Social Girl

When Moving Forward Requires Looking Back

When moving forward requires looking back: How Hilma - Social Tech for Impact is making a difference in the lives of Dementia patients.

Having been together for nearly 70 years, Chaim and Sarah’s marriage is something all hopeless romantics aspire to attain. With three daughters, numerous grandchildren, and a newly born great-grandchild, this loving couple has built a beautiful and fruitful life for themselves in the sanctified city of Jerusalem. Now settled in a senior-living facility, the couple’s lives are frequently enriched by the presence of family, friends, and lasting-memories. Unfortunately, not all happy memories carry the longevity they used to. Sarah has been suffering from Dementia, a syndrome involving the deterioration of memory, thinking, and behavior, for over a decade. Unable to remember or perform normal daily-functions, Sarah spends most of her time bound to the armchair in her and Chaim’s living room, accompanied by a caretaker. 

Despite the circumstances of her condition, Sarah still maintains snippets of long-term memory. She remains responsive to photographs, videos, music and audio clips through slight movements and verbal cues. Her acknowledgement of various media types makes both doctors and Chaim hopeful that, although her memory cannot be improved, it can be preserved through consistent memory related exercises. 

In collaboration with Melabev, an Israeli non-profit organization geared towards caring for those experiencing various forms of Dementia, Hilma – Social Tech for Impact is bringing solace to loved ones and memory to patients one upload at a time. Recently developed by Hilma, Albi is a live photo album that can be used to improve the physical and mental well-being of those living with Dementia. Albi exposes its user to different events in their life through visual and audio displays, during a joint activity with a family member or accompanying therapist. Sent to the application by friends and family members, the app exhibits images and audio clips for the patient’s enjoyment. Additionally, it allows them to play a variety of matching and identification games related to their life which are meant to evoke emotional and mental stimulation.

Transcending generational gaps, Albi looks to a brighter, more memorable future for all those affected by cognitive decline. As one of the first patients to regularly use Albi, Sarah is now able to engage in different periods of her life through media while strengthening familial relationships. With the help of her husband, Chaim, her caretaker, and other loved ones, Sarah can reflect on her long and meaningful life whenever and wherever. 

Find Albi in the App Store:

About the Author
Sofia Klein has always felt a strong pull towards Israeli culture and community. Having grown up in West Bloomfield, Michigan, her Jewish background compelled her to venture to Israel in an attempt to fulfill her life-long plans of further understanding her Jewish roots. With an additional love for business and all things art related, advertising and marketing proved to be her ideal career. Meshed with her Jewish identity, Sofia put her professional interests to the test by applying for various jobs within Israel. After securing an internship at Hilma - Social Tech for Impact, Sofia was deeply inspired by the seemingly endless array of opportunities her new, high-tech family not only offered her, but the entire country of Israel. Now a proud, yet temporary member of the Hilma team, Sofia’s blog aims to expand Hilma's impact and education through various media platforms. (Sofia Klein is a rising Junior at Kalamazoo College. She is currently pursuing a major in Business with a creative focus. Sofia also has a concentration in Judaic Studies and one day hopes to make Aliyah) About Hilma: Backed by nearly 80 individuals, ranging between the ages of 18 and 23, Hilma aims to develop and craft innovative applications and solutions in the areas of welfare, education and health for disadvantaged populations and social organizations. Hilma’s solutions not only tackle social issues, but also have a measurable business model with economic feasibility.
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