Phase 2 – Designing

The next step is to take what we have learned from Phase 1 and for our design team to start work on some of the useful ideas that have emerged.

We have analysed the information gathered in Phase 1 by looking in detail at what people have said and what they have written down. From this, we have identified several themes that are really important to people with dementia in their everyday lives. After discussion, including a workshop meeting in Luxembourg with the European Working Group of People with Dementia, we have identified several themes upon which we will base our designs, which include:

  • Coping with the situation: diagnosis: what now?
  • Self-value: Insecurity and lack of confidence
  • Experiences and identity and the fear of losing them
  • Deciding what to do and planning new things
  • Needing to be needed (helping others, not feeling useless)
  • Keeping relationships going
  • Understanding and negotiating between the person with dementia and their carer
  • Activities that have a purpose and meaning (versus merely keeping you occupied)
  • Letting go of responsibilities (some may be losses but sometimes it’s about delegating)
  • Importance of familiarity
  • Importance of continuity.

Some of these may be more relevant at different times during the dementia journey, for example coping with the diagnosis, whereas other themes will run continuously. The next four visits in the MinD programme during the middle of 2017 will be used to develop ideas about how some of these themes may be helped by mindful design.