Ava Alexandra Thomas took home $2,000 as a runner-up at Accelerate 2017 for her Memory Mat idea – a personalized do-it-yourself place mat with pictures and phrases that act as memory cues for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia and serve as conversation starters for visitors and caregivers.
With the Accelerate seed money, Ava purchased an extra wide portable laminator and materials to produce mats that have a more professional feel. She created a new instruction sheet and completed the first batch of mats with the West Geauga Senior Center in Chesterland.
She visited a local senior center twice in June 2017 to make Memory Mats with the seniors and test out the process.
She continues to look for opportunities to work with additional facilities on Memory Mats. She has mailed out Memory Mat packages to other potential users.
Ava has met with Menorah Park, one of the region’s largest providers of services to the elderly and been in contact with folks in the Age Well, Be Well department of University Hospital.
Ava was featured on Cleveland.com just days after her pitch at Accelerate.
Check out the video Ava created for her Accerate application.