An App for Alzheimer’s

Central IT student Chris Fabio has worked closely with Alzheimer’s Australia WA to develop a mobile app that aids sufferers of dementia.

There is no cure for the disease, which can cause the person living with dementia to become increasingly unable to communicate.  Often carers are faced with feelings of helplessness as they try to determine what their relatives require.

Enter Sheila Lapping, Enabling Environment Consultant of Alzheimer’s Australia WA.

After her father had a stroke, Sheila created a book to enable him to indicate some of the things he may need on a daily basis.  This idea was then developed by Alzheimer’s Australia WA and created into a product – CommunicAid.


To take the product to the next level, Sheila approached Central IT Lecturer Nichola Kerr to develop CommunicAid as a multiple device app.

A small cohort of Certificate IV Programming students began working on the idea before student Chris Fabio took up the mantle.

The developed app creates a simple, systematic, visual method of communication that enables the user to explain their needs and preferences.

Chris continued to develop the idea on multiple platforms as he progressed to studying the Diploma of Software Development.  He has completed a Windows version and is in the midst of completing an Android version to be finalised in October.

“I liked the experience of being a part of a real live project and the new technologies I’ve learnt during the development of the app”, said Chris.

So far feedback for the app has been overwhelmingly positive.  The project has been very rewarding for the students given a chance to work on a project that will make a big difference to the lives of West Australians affected by dementia.


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