Dementia Home Support System

Dementia Home Support System

  • Dementia Home Support System
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    Dementia Home Support System
  • Development & Prototypes
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    Development & Prototypes
  • Features & Use
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    Features & Use
  • Home Support
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    Home Support
  • Product Interaction
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    Product Interaction
What It Does

This innovative product is a Dementia Home Support System to aid a person in Early Stage of Dementia, where there is currently no formal care. The system looks to relieve some of the issues that come with the disease, in particular, short term memory loss.

The Inspiration

There is currently no formal care for a person in the Early stage. Close friends and family automatically become informal carers — but this should not affect personal relationships. Currently products on the market are predominantly aimed at patients in the Late and Advanced stages of Dementia. Such products are very simple, for example, aiding a patient with location of various rooms or enhancing their senses with interactive toys. However, there are a distinct lack of products on the market for people with Early Stage Dementia.

How It Works

The hub has three main features. Short term memory loss can be very frustrating and it is great to have someone there to answer any questions you may have forgotten the answer to. Simply push the OLED display on top of the Hub and ask your question. The answer is supplied in three formats; voice, text and symbol. This helps ensure user understand the information provided. The second key feature of the home support system is item location around the home. Any regularly misplaced items tagged with the RFID tags supplied, can be located down to a particular room. For instance, if the user’s keys go missing, simply ask the Hub where they are and the Hub will state the room location, again in the three formats: voice, text and symbol. Thirdly, the home hub is wirelessly connected the home cooking appliance. A sensor detects when it is in use and alerts the user at regular intervals. If the user does not respond to the alert, the home hub will send a warning text.

Stages of Development

Through meetings with groups run by Alzheimer’s Society, much of the Hub has been designed by the people with Dementia themselves. The grey colour was chosen to allow the product to blend into its surroundings, without attracting any unwanted attention or stigma, that comes with other Dementia products. The shape of the product is the perfect balance of familiarity and innovation; with its traditional vase like shape combined with the subtley illumination, the Hub is not going to be forgotten. The home support system will be there when you need it. (See Pictures for design process)

Novelty

As stated before, there is very little on the market for someone in early stage Dementia and there is certainly no formal care. The project deals with the sensitive areas very well and manages to avoid the product having any stigma. The Hub has very similar features to an Amazon Echo, however, the Hub has been design specifically for people in early Stage Dementia. The RFID location is used by businesses to locate parcels in warehouses, but is yet to be put in a home situation. The same can be said for the cooking appliance sensor -- ultra sound is used to read flow rates of both gas and electricity on a business scale and could easily put in a home environment.

Future Plans

The project was completed as my major project as one of my final year modules. When thinking about the futures for the product, there is the potential for the user (person with dementia) to be monitored. This could mean quickly capturing plenty of data for people in Early Stage Dementia, which could support a user in the later stages of their care. Also, interestingly the features of the Home Support System may be found useful to many people not just those with Dementia. Personally, I am looking to work in the Product Design Industry, in the future, I would like to design something that makes peoples lives a little easier to live.

Awards

Appeared at New Designers 2017 http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/our-top-picks-new-designers