Final Year Product Design Project on Dementia

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by Holly1997, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Hi everyone,

    I am currently focusing my final year project on Dementia as due to having personal experience within my family, I would love to design a product to help Dementia patients and their relatives/carers in some way.

    I have done a large amount of research and narrowed my topic down to designing a product that will ease anxiety and agitation in Dementia patients once they first move into a care home. From conducting primary research and from experiences that I have seen personally, the stress that a Dementia sufferer experiences from changing their living environment can lead to agitation and restless hands, which causes a large amount of stress and discomfort for the patient and also their family and carers.

    I am aiming to design a kit focusing on sensory stimulation, that will potentially have different fidget tools inside to aid in calming, with the hope of easing their restless hands and stress, and therefore hopefully preventing further health problems such as insomnia.

    If anyone has any feedback or opinions on this idea, I would be very grateful to hear what you have to say.
    All replies will be kept anonymous and will only be used as inspiration for my project!

    Thank you!
    Holly
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    6,019
    Male
    Bristol
    My partner already has two fiddle muffs, which are large woollen tubes with various plastic and wool additions to play with if she gets bored. She never uses those parts, but the wool keeps her hands warm in the car in winter. Sorry Holly, it is hard to see how you can improve on such a simple thing, but I wish you luck.
     
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,077
    Yorkshire
  4. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    463
    You probably already know that a lot of these things, it depends very much on the dementia stage as to how useful a product might be to a PWD.
    Mummy hasn't, so far shown any interest in a fiddle muff (similar to what you are describing) where I sewed quite a few personal objects onto a knitted square. However, when you talk about personalisation, not quite the same thing but a while ago, when she had a bit more capacity, she loved a cushion we had printed with a picture of her grandchildren. Critically, she knew who they were and it got a lot of attention form staff and others, which she enjoyed.
    Nature is a good theme and Mummy often notices bright colours even though her perception isn't good
     
  5. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Hi all, thank you so much for your responses so far!

    I am trying to narrow down my project whilst keeping your advice in mind.

    I have am now thinking of aiming to design a product focusing on sensory stimulation. I know that there are many DIY and branded fidget muffs and fidget cushions out there in the market, however from conducting some primary research I have found that some Dementia patients find them quite childish and do not make full use of their potential. I would love to be able to change this by designing an improved sensory product, potentially a sensory flower or a sensory nature pad. This will be able to incorporate a love for nature and the outdoors, with sensory stimulation using touch, sight and hearing. I am thinking of petals/wings that can open up and be personalised with the user's personal items, potentially things that will remind them of their families/home. Materials used will all be soft fabrics to provide comfort and there could be different fidget/fiddle elements on it to remind the user of nature.

    I would like this to be different to be almost a re-design of the original style of fidget muffs/cushions, using bright colours with a nature theme. I love the idea of the PWD being able to personalise it, with photos of family etc.

    Would be very grateful if any of you have some more opinions on this.

    Thank you!
    Holly
     
  6. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    6,019
    Male
    Bristol
    I was sceptical, but Helly's idea of adding family pictures is a good one.
     
  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,127
    Toronto, Canada
    @Holly1997, have you considered taking prototypes to day care centres and nursing homes in your area? That would give you real life responses that I think would prove more useful.
     
  8. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,312
    This sounds really similar to the ‘Bud’ sensory cushion which is shaped like a flower. You open up the petals and it contains different textures and can be personalised with items and photos. Is this the sort of thing you mean, or is your design going to be different?

    https://designability.org.uk/projects/products/bud-sensory-cushion/
     
  9. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Thank you for this :) Will definitely look into doing that, it is a great idea!
     
  10. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Thanks for your reply :)

    Haven't seen this one before, however i'm aiming to make my project fairly different to that. As that one is already on the market, I may try and steer it away from the flower and come up with another shape for mine :)
     
  11. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Thank you for your reply :) Yes, I have researched existing products currently on the market. I would like to be able to design something that will be inspired by and in some way re-design the traditional dementia products that are currently on sale :)
     
  12. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Thank you so much, this is all very helpful info! Will definitely be taking this into consideration when designing!
     
  13. Holly1997

    Holly1997 New member

    Oct 6, 2019
    9
    Thank you :)
     
  14. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,667
    Music is soothing
     

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