The Design Council, in partnership with the Department of Health, held a competition to encourage the development of five innovative ideas for products and services which should “make lives simpler, better and more enjoyable for those with dementia and their carers”.
Prototypes of the five winning designs, selected for their potential to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and to assist in the development of dementia-friendly communities, will be launched on April 26th 2012.
A brief description of each winning idea, and the team which developed it, is given below:
- Dogs for people with early stage dementia: a service which explores the potential of trained dogs to help maintain independence, dignity, companionship and happiness. (Alzheimer Scotland, Glasgow School of Art and Dogs for the Disabled).
- Permanently worn discreet wristbands to aid dementia sufferers: these products assist with user-identification, personal monitoring and emergency alerting functionality (using 3D accelerometers and RFID). The wristbands should enhance the current Buddi telecare system. (Buddi and Sebastian Conran Associates).
- A web and mobile-based service for carers of people with dementia to help them find work that can be delivered on a time and location flexible basis. This is intended to enable carers to supplement their income and protect their savings whilst also enabling them to stay within the world of work. (CREO Strategic Solutions, A+B Studio, FLY Design and FeedHenry).
- The Scent Clock: a home scent-device to stimulate appetite and enhance nutritional status in dementia. The device is intended to increase the likelihood of eating, thereby helping to reduce problems of weight loss, dehydration, fatigue and malnutrition common in people with dementia. (Rodd Design, The Olfactory Experience, Gwen Coleman and Crossmodal Research Lab, University of Oxford).
- Grouple: a collaborative caring and sharing tool, enabling the family to support a relative with dementia through easier and accessible communication. Grouple provides online and physical tools to facilitate coordinated support, suitable from early diagnosis onwards. (Studiohead, BT Innovate & Design, Louise Wilson, Ifung Lu, Meike Walcha and Jewish Care).
Read more: Design Challenges.
More information is also available at the Design Council website.