‘Thinking dogs for dementia’ and an appetite-stimulating ‘scent clock’ are amongst five innovative products and services which will be developed by teams of designers, support groups and industry experts, to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia.
The announcement was made today by the Department of Health and the Design Council which will award the teams a share of £360,000 to design and develop prototypes of their ideas.
A million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2012 and one in three of us who live to 65 will have some form of the condition. The project aims to develop the next generation of products and services, drive innovation and stimulate the market, in a bid to improve the quality of life for those with dementia, their families and carers.
The teams will be showcasing the prototypes of their solutions and services early next year and have 20 weeks to develop their ideas. The concepts and their teams are:
• Dogs for people with early stage dementia- developing a service that explores the potential of trained dogs in a dementia situation to help maintain independence, dignity, companionship and joy
(Alzheimer Scotland, Glasgow School of Art (product design) + Dogs for the Disabled)
• A permanently worn discreet wristband to aid dementia sufferers. The product will provide user identification, personal monitoring and emergency alert functionalities via 3D accelerometers and RFID, and will enhance the current buddi telecare system.
(Buddi + 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 will 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, FeedHenry)
• The Scent Clock’ – a home scent-device to stimulate appetite and enhance nutritional status in dementia. The device will look to increase the likelihood of eating, reducing the issues of weight loss, dehydration, fatigue and malnutrition that people with dementia experience. (Rodd Design, The Olfactory Experience, Gwen Coleman + Crossmodal Research Lab, University of Oxford)
• ‘Grouple’ – a collaborative caring and sharing tool which enable the family to support their relative through easier, accessible communication. Applicable from the point of diagnosis, Grouple will provide online and physical tools to facilitate co-ordinated support. (Studiohead, BT Innovate & Design, Louise Wilson, Ifung Lu, Meike Walcha + Jewish Care)
Paul Burstow, Care Services Minister: “It is fantastic that the Design Council’s innovation challenge for dementia produced the highest number of applications it has ever received.
The five winning concepts have made it through an incredibly competitive process and they have the potential to help people live better and longer with dementia. I look forward to seeing how these exciting and innovative projects are developed in the coming months"
Mat Hunter, Design Council’s Chief Design Officer says: “This is the latest example of design taking a pioneering role, in rethinking what it means to live with dementia. This challenge has prompted some new and unusual collaborations between designers and industry experts and they have created an inspired range of solutions. We look forward to the prototypes being unveiled in early next year.”
Notes to editors
1. The Living well with dementia challenge, is a partnership between the Design Council and the Department of Health.
2. To help in the development process, the Design Council has recruited an Advisory Board of highly respected designers, third sector leaders, healthcare experts, carer organisations and social innovators to advise the winning teams during the design and development phase.
3. The Design Council places design at the heart of growth and renewal in Britain. As one of the world’s leading design institutions, The Design Council is a unified voice for a broad spectrum of design, architecture and public space, placing good design at the heart of social and economic renewal. We demonstrate how design can help build a stronger economy and improve everyday life through practical projects with industry, public services and education.
4. To read more about the Department of Health’s National Dementia Strategy: please go to: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/SocialCare/NationalDementiaStrategy/index.htm
5. To see more about the design challenge please go to www.designcouncil.org.uk/dementia or to join the online community visit: www.designchallenges.ning.com
6. For further information, please contact:
The Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5221
Andrea Britt, Design Council: 0207 420 5263