Design student - Communication improvements

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by Liggy, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13
    Hello everyone!

    I am in my final year at The University of Strathclyde, studying Product Design and Innovation. I have taken a great interest in how design can help those suffering with Dementia and i am at the very early stages of my research. I am looking into a number of areas where i think development could occur ; one being communication between the carer and patient. My questions are:

    1) What do you believe are the main issues in terms of communication between the carer and patient?

    2) What improvements do you think could be made?

    Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated to see if this area of study is worth pursuing.

    Thanks!
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,246
    Male
    North Manchester
    #2 nitram, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,088
    Yorkshire
    #3 Shedrech, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    I wonder what made you decide this - not that communication isn't tricky, but the 'development could occur'.
    I agree with nitram - part of your background research needs to be visits to care homes and day care centres (make an appointment beforehand) - then there are Dementia Cafes and support groups eg Singing for the Brain where you could visit several times to chat to the people there.
    Check through the various websites for carers in general and aimed at dementia.
    Have you looked at the websites of companies that provide aids for carers and those who need support?
    And, of course, spend a few hours reading through the threads on TP.
    If you do all this with an open mind, rather than only focussing on one potential area, something may grab your attention.
     
  4. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13
    Thanks, i will take all advice on board! Trying to get into care homes but its proving difficult!
     
  5. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13
    Thank you, that PDF is very informative! Great piece of secondary research.
     
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,088
    Yorkshire
    Actually, I'm heartened that it's not easy to arrange a visit to a care home - I know I'd be wary of stray students visiting my dad's - but I'm also pleased that you are trying.
    Maybe have a word with your supervisor/mentor to see if your course has any contacts or if an official introduction from the uni might help the homes see that you are serious. You may want to ask if you could shadow and help out the activities co-ordinator at a home, to show that you have some idea of the staffing - you'll appreciate that they won't be able to leave you on your own, and probably should ask for a CRB check.
     
  7. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,246
    Male
    North Manchester
    Glad you found the PDF useful.

    It may help if you learn something about dementia in the broader sense, >>>THIS<<< is a video explaining memory impairment.

    Lack of memory can impede communication.
     
  8. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13
    Yes it great they are so strict and I would only ever expect that.. so its good to see. Yeah great idea, thank you Shedrech, shadowing an activities co-ordinator would be gold.

    Many thanks for your time!
     
  9. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13
    That video is so clear and written in such a good way for someone to understand. Thank you so much!
     
  10. Eternity

    Eternity Registered User

    Jul 17, 2013
    226
    London
    Liggy - wishing you good luck with your project. What has been interesting for me is that my mum reverted back to her native language - she just forgot most of her english over a few months. She also lost her ability to read and write.This was fine while I was looking after her at home but became an issue when she moved into a care home - by which time she had lost most of her speech in any language too. Many care staff locked into the idea that it was difficult to deal with mum because they didn't speak her native language, so they didn't communicate with her. They tried picture cards to communicate but the pictures didn't register with my mum. What was helpful was using short sentences, tone of voice, eye contact and physical expressions. My mum still wants to communicate and it is so important. Anything that can be designed to help people in future would be very welcome
     
  11. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    186
    My mum loved it when the local students visited her CH, she always enjoyed being around young people and they used to brighten the place up with their energy and enthusiasm.
     
  12. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13

    Hello Eternity, thanks for all your comments. That's really quite remarkable that your mothers native language came back through naturally and the speech and writing issues you mentioned will be something I will look more into. Great feedback to hear that you think tone of voice, facial expressions, short sentences and eye contact were very important and these positively addressed communication factors will be interesting for me to consider and maybe try and integrate into my design. Can you think of a device or design that you really wished you had at the time to help your mother deal with these changes ? A communication device between yourself and her or maybe her carers?
     
  13. Liggy

    Liggy Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    13
    Oh how I wish I could bring that to a care home!
     
  14. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,246
    Male
    North Manchester
    As mentioned in another thread, a Google street view of where the person used to live may lead to talking about the person's experiences as a child.
     

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