‘Wonder phone’ plays music for dementia sufferers

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Eighteen-year-old Dutchman Niek van Weeghel together with collaborators Herbert van Til and Peter Fidder have modified some 55 old fashioned dial telephone to play songs for the elderly suffering from dementia.

“It’s nice to see how the elderly react when they pick up the ‘wonder phone’, Van Weeghel explains. “First, they are quiet and then you see that they recognised the song. Then they sing their hearts out along to it.”

A person picks up the phone, dials a number (something, if we believe YouTube, kids don’t even understand because they’ve only seen mobile phone) and then hears a song they would recognise from their younger days.

The team is also collecting old phones to make more wonder phones, which now costs about 30 euro each to make. And since it hit the media, many homes have asked to get their hands on some.

There are about 280,000 people suffering from some type of dementia in the Netherlands. In 25 years this figure is expected to reach more than 500,000.

Maybe they can also make phones that play music from other cultures for specific people.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo: Photo by Macinate, some rights reserved)

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