Dementia is a growing and prominent issue for our increasingly ageing population and designing products specific to dementia in well-informed ways is getting more and more important. Since 2010, Active Minds has been designing activity products for and with people who are living with dementia. The company has a constantly growing product range with 64 products currently being sold worldwide.
When it comes to designing new products, Active Minds designs with a participatory approach as the underpinning aspect of their design process. They work very closely with care homes and their residents. The very success of their products is due to this user-involved, participatory design approach. Activity coordinators play a significant role in introducing new prototypes to their residents and encouraging them to participate and share their experiences.
You can become part of Active Minds Network as an activity coordinator, and they will get in touch with you to invite you in one/all of these ways to work together:
Testing Visits, by a designer in your dementia care home with our latest prototype
Testing Prototypes, sent to you in the post
Research, via email, surveys or texts
Most testing sessions are led by the Active Minds’ design team. After the team develops a product idea, prototypes are prepared for testing with people with dementia ready to test. At the end of the session, the design team and activity coordinator’s feedback on the prototype. The activity coordinator shares observations on what worked and what did not, and these lessons are used in the development of how the product can be evolved.
Sending out prototypes for testing
Since Active Minds do not have the capacity to visit all the care homes across the country, they also send out prototypes to care homes. Similarly also in this case, activity coordinators test the products with their residents, gathers observations, notes, and photos if possible and feeds this information back to the design team at Active Minds.
Research via online, surveys and text
Active Minds has an activity coordinators Facebook group, where the design team shares ideas, sketches, or photos to gather feedback on products/prototypes. They also send out surveys through an email list to their growing network of activity coordinators.
Why collaborate with Active Minds?
Through these different engagements with the design team, both the activity coordinators and the residents become an integral part of the design process and contribute actively to the designs with their feedback and experiences. After products are manufactured, the products are eventually sent to the care homes as gifts when they are finalised so that both the residents and the coordinators can enjoy the products that they have actively taken part in designing. On top of all these, the testing days themselves are often fun and social experience for the residents and staff.
If you want to be part of the network, please contact Burcu click HERE
You can purchase Active Minds products from our online shop - Browse Shop