CogPro Cognitive Prosthetics

Peter’s Story

CogPro was born out of a son’s love and concern for his mother.

In the early 1990s, CogPro founder Peter Zimmer was primary caregiver for his mother, Ilse Retter Zimmer, who was living with early stage Alzheimer’s disease in the flat downstairs from him and his family.

As Peter tells it:

“Talking on the phone with her friends and family and listening to her favourite music on her stereo were important parts of Mom’s daily life before Alzheimer’s disease. But as her dementia progressed, the controls for these devices became too complicated for her, and her failing memory let her down. She made mistakes when she tried to use them, causing frustration and distress for her, and anxiety and expense for me.

“To solve some of her increasing problems, I re-imagined a telephone and a “radio” that restored talking with her family and listening to her music. She was able to recognize each immediately and use them successfully, without any instruction. For almost two years, as her condition deteriorated, these devices enabled her to keep in touch with us and her friends, and to control the classical music she loved to listen to — in her own home, and then in her room at the assisted living residence.”

Ilse’s ability to use her phone again meant Peter and his siblings were able to defer their mother’s move to an extended care facility by six to eight months, thereby saving many thousands of dollars.

“My driving vision for CogPro is to develop household electric devices — phones, thermostats, radios and more — that extend or restore the pleasures of their use to people like my mother, improving the quality of their everyday lives — and take real loads off their care providers.”

Normal Phone CogPro Phone CogPro Home Page