The MinD project hosted secondments in January and February 2017, at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and in the Netherlands with Partners Panton Healthcare Design, University of Twente and Zorggroep Sint Maarten. In both sites, secondments were dedicated to a number of tasks, most importantly to preparing design information on the two designs for consultation with people with dementia and caregivers in March in the UK and Germany.
The initial design concepts had been selected in October 2017 from a shortlist with the help of people with dementia, caregivers and healthcare experts through a number of public and patient involvement (PPI) sessions: The ‘Good Life Kit’ aims at helping people with dementia to deal with their condition constructively and openly, especially at the point of the diagnosis when there can be a feeling of loss and uncertainty about the future. The ‘Social Engagement Map’ aims to support people with dementia to stay socially connected and engaged. It responds to findings that elderly people in general have fewer social connections, and that people with dementia in particular may find it difficult to maintain or establish social connections.
In November and December, the MinD team had worked on developing the design concepts into tangible ideas. With much progress being made then, it is now important to involve people with dementia and carers in the design process. We will involve people through co-design sessions, where we will work together to decide about which features to include in the designs as well as about how the designs should look and work to suit them. It is very important to have the views and experience of people with dementia guide the design process to make our design fit for purpose. The work on in January and February focused on preparing the design ideas for presentation in the co-design sessions, which included preparing visuals, translation of English texts into German for the German participants, and determining relevant areas and questions for the discussion in the co-design sessions.