A new social media app has been launched to help people identify with those with dementia by allowing them 'experience' the symptoms of the condition.

FaceDementia harnesses a person’s recent Facebook activity to give an insight into what hundreds of thousands of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia go through each day.

The app shows users what it would be like to forget where they live, work or go to school or who their loved-ones are, using a combination of personal photos, status updates and other information shared on their page. People can also watch short videos featuring people with dementia explaining how the symptoms FaceDementia simulates impact on them or their relative.

Watch Susie Hewer, who's mother has dementia, talk about the FaceDementia app:

The app does not hold on to any data or scramble a user’s real timeline or Facebook information, instead presenting an overlay to show how dementia can affect the brain.

Lack of public awareness around dementia
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: "We wanted to use these Facebook features to illustrate how those thoughts and memories can be confused, or forgotten altogether, as experienced by some of the hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia.

"Stigma around dementia is due in part to a lack of public awareness and understanding, so FaceDementia will be invaluable in helping people better understand the condition. We hope people will help spread the word by taking part at www.facedementia.org then sharing with their friends and family on Facebook.

"Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias pose one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future. Research is the only answer but funding still lags far behind other serious diseases. We hope FaceDementia highlights why it’s so important to invest money into research so our scientists can tackle the devastating diseases that cause dementia."