The COMPAs application is available for iPad tablets

This application helps communication between a person with communication disorders and their caregiver.

Are you caring for a person with a neurodegenerative disease and face difficulties communicating with him/her?

Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM) presents the COMmunication Proche Aidant or COMPAs application

COMPAs, the new mobile App


COMPAs makes it possible to group together, on a secure platform, photos from different periods of the person's life, songs that have marked his or her personal life and videos of significant moments, all with the objective of fostering communication. The principle is simple: by targeting memories that carry significant emotional weight, it is possible to encourage positive exchanges and, by the same token, to reduce feelings of frustration and improve the quality of life of the person and their caregiver.
COMPAs: Communication tool for caregivers

At the end of each communication "session", the caregiver can give an assessment of the communication of the person with a language problem, which allows following the evolution of the difficulties, but also to equip the caregiver to identify the best time to communicate with the person with dementia (morning, around supper time, etc.). The caregiver or family member can also share this information with a professional.

A unique application

To our knowledge, there is no such application to aid communication between a person with a neurodegenerative disease and his or her caregiver. It is therefore interesting to explore the effect of a personalized "intervention" administered by the caregiver, based on the person's life history, and cultural charcteristics. An active participation, linked to his or her own experience and emotions, should also be encouraged by this type of approach, all with the aim of improving communication, which, as a result, could contribute to reducing the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and improve the interactions and quality of life of people with dementia, as well as of their loved ones.


A unique application

Ana Inés Ansaldo summarizes the history of COMPAs

  • A complex project

    For the COMPAs project, the complexity of the necessary adaptations in such a volatile environment as the long-term care (LTC) led to the importance of further research on the miscommunication and social isolation of elderly people in LTCs and its impact on the cognition and quality of life of these people and those who help them, whether professionals or family caregivers. Dr. Ansaldo gathered a multidisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, caregivers and managers, to address the issue of communication and isolation in LTCs in an innovative way, which would allow to advance research in this understudied field, while fostering the development of concrete solutions to the challenges in the field (i.e. miscommunication, reactive behaviors, isolation, increased burden on natural and professional caregivers, lack of training of care workers, rapid deterioration of residents, impossibility of maintaining the link with loved ones in isolation, increased depersonalization of residents in the emergency context, etc.)

    Here is the idea

    Dr. Ansaldo therefore developed an idea that had been in her mind since the first COMPAs studies: the creation of a digital and artificial intelligence platform that would be used for research as well as for training and intervention to aid communication between caregivers and patients living with dementia in long-term care facilities. This idea is crystallized in the creation of a FCI-COVID platform for cutting-edge research on the issue of emotional reactions to screen content, its impact on communication between residents and caregivers, with a multimodal database and artificial intelligence tools to identify the most appropriate screen content to prevent and/or reduce reactive behaviors, aid communication even at a distance, reduce caregiver burden and improve the sense of professional accomplishment. Training tools on how to communicate with a person with dementia for different types of caregivers will also be available on the platform.

    How it works

    The New Frontiers Fund has allowed the start of studies with healthy people, with a first version of the catalog of clips. Studies in CHSLDs should begin in the winter, thanks to the commitment of the CSSMTL and the field staff who participated in the FCI-COVID application and with whom we have been collaborating for several years.