A fragrance-release system designed to stimulate appetite among people with dementia. The mains-powered unit releases three food fragrances a day, adjustable to coincide with the user’s mealtimes.
This discreet system is less stigmatising and more inspiring than an alarm or constant reminders from carers to eat. Initial research suggests it can stimulate real hunger subliminally. Scents are pleasant and evocative, and aim to improve mood as an additional effect.
Ben Davies Managing Director, Rodd
Mark Morgan Senior Designer, Rodd
Simon Levi User Centred Designer, Rodd
Lizzie Ostrom Director, The Olfactory Experience Ltd
Gwen Coleman Dementia specialist, Anchor
Weight loss is common to most people with late-stage dementia and can be an early indicator of the condition’s onset. Malnutrition costs the NHS around £13 billion a year compared to £5.1 billion for obesity.
The solution and its benefits
Scents have been developed specially for ode, in conjunction with a leading fragrance laboratory and in response to workshop feedback. Users can choose their preferred scents at installation.
Fragrances are released in short sharp bursts, acting as a strong appetite trigger and then dissipating rapidly so users won’t become inured to the effect.
A subtle light indicates the device is working and also communicates when fragrances need refilling.
ode would be sold as a product supported by a wider service offer, including fragrance subscriptions. The fragrance system can easily be expanded with new ode lines – either additional food scents or new sets to support relaxation, alertness or reminiscence therapy.
The next stage is to test ode’s impact on a statistically robust scale by manufacturing a small batch prototype for a formal product evaluation in care homes. The supply chain can then be developed for production and/or licensing at scale.