Designs unveiled in bid to tackle dementia
A series of prototype designs, including an appetite-stimulating scent clock and specially trained ‘guide dogs for the mind’, have been unveiled in a bid to help people living with demential.
Five projects have been unveiled in the Design Council and the Department of Health’s £360 000 Living Well With Dementia Challenge.
The projects, which have been brought to prototyping stage by the £360 000 pot, are:
• The buddiband, a discrete wristband which uses cutting-edge technology to keep carers informed of the wellbeing of the users, developed by Buddi and Sebastian Conran Associates;
• The Dementia Dog project, a scheme to train assistance dogs to help and protect the welfare of people with dementia, by Alzheimer Scotland, a product design team from Glasgow School of Art and Dogs for the Disabled;
• Grouple, an online network that helps families plan and share care for people with dementia, by Studiohead, BT Innovate & Design, Louise Wilson, Ifong Lu, Mike Walcha and Jewish Care;
• The Scent Clock, a device that emits scents to stimulate appetite and improve nutirition for people with dementia, by Rodd Design, the Olfactory Experience, Gwen Coleman and Crossmodel Research Lab and the University of Oxford;
• Trading Times, a website to help carers find flexible employment, by Creo Strategic Solutions, A+B Studio, Fly Design and Feed Henry.
The prototypes are all set to be further tested and developed with commercial partners with the aim of making them available on a large scale.
Design Council chief executive David Kester says, ‘A consequence of an ageing population is a threefold increase in dementia over the past 20 year. That means there are many millions of people who need new projects and services designed to meet their changing needs.
‘This project demonstrates that if you put the people who are living with dementia, incuding carers, at the centre of the design process, you end up with rapid and inspiring innovation.’