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What do you get up to on a Sunday morning?!

It can be dementia 24/7 at our home. If neither of us is working on something dementia related, there's a good chance we're still thinking about it.
This weekend was no exception: On Sunday morning we had a mad couple of hours recycling some pointless picture frames from my partners care home and turning them into something far more interesting. Incidentally, the taller frames are just under 1M high. 
It's especially important to try and utilise things like this at the moment because it's harder than ever for care home operators to prioritise funds for anything other than essentials - which I understand, however much I may disagree with it as a way forward.
So this Sunday we ripped the crummy pointless artwork out of these old frames and for a total cost of less than £10, we created something interesting and relevant for almost nothing more than some thought and some effort. The best thing is we know 100% these will now bring some benefit to the residents of the home. #dem…

Memory, Music and Emotion

Memory is an incredible thing when you stop and think about how it works and how much stuff we can recall at some indeterminate point in the future, and what triggers attach to that memory. One question you might consider is: why do we need to remember so much? Wouldn’t it make sense to have a relatively short, uncluttered memory so we can function more efficiently? If I was a computer hard drive maybe that would make sense because I might run short of storage space. But the capacity for memory in the human brain is far far greater than any computer that's been built so far.For the record, referencing Dr Magnus Bordewich from the department of computer sciences at Durham University, here are some calculations which illustrate how stupendously powerful our brains are;1. Sitting still doing nothing, your brain will still process more data in 30 seconds than the Hubble telescope has in 30 years.2. A single cubic millimetre of the brain’s cortex has storage capacity (in computing terms…

The Power of Artwork Part 2: We are our Memories

For the last 13 years I’ve spent most of my time and effort designing products to support people living with dementia, and one of the first things I learnt was how changes in visual perception are critically influential.My initial dementia-design challenge was creating internal signs that were highly visible and easier to interpret for people who live with dementia. Essentially I created two types: signs for toilets and bathrooms, and signs that enable people to identify their own room. My designs have been used all around the world and there are literally millions of examples which observe this design – the difference tends to be the quality of materials and execution but they all follow the same visual construct.Working with the signage took me all over the place and I met some brilliant people, literally. One particularly brilliant University professor in Scotland was responsible for my reminiscence epiphany! The first time we met we talked for maybe three hours and the recurrent t…

The Power of Artwork

Part 1: Are you missing an opportunity? 
Unfortunately the answer is almost certainly 'yes'.
It surprises me to think I’ve been involved in professional imaging for over 30 years, but at least that means I should know a thing or two about Visual Imaging or ‘Pictures’ as we usually refer to them. One thing I realised a long time ago is how quickly they can become invisible. Not in the Harry Potter sense of course, but in the sense that we can become oblivious to their presence and they effectively vanish. Think for a moment; you will have pictures in your daily surroundings that you simply don’t notice any more. Pictures you see every day but no longer register their presence.On the other hand you may also have pictures you always notice, and these are the ones which are interesting for some reason or another. Chances are they’ll always attract your attention because you have a connection with them. In the dementia care setting there is a colossal opportunity we're missing wh…

Creating personalised bedroom signs

Personalised signage has inevitably been my pet subject for many years! I'm re-posting this blog from The Care Home Designer website because it's such a clean, honest product that does exactly what it should. 
Watch the video here or visit the original post:
It's amusing that potential customers don't realise the sign can be personalised and updated so easily yet the result is professional and looks permanent. 
The ease with which the user can ensure the right information is always on display is tackled with an engaging short video that's well worth 1 minute and 59 seconds of anyones time if they're considering using personalised signage.
There are five other layouts in the range so should be something there to suit everyone. 
I think shipping to the US is also an option too.
Apologies for the long break between posts! I will be posting much more frequently now.

16 things I want if I get dementia

I discovered an American blog today called Dementia By Day that belongs to a Dementia Care Consultant: Rebecca Wonderlin. I've put a link to her site in my Blogroll and I wanted to share this list she wrote a couple of years ago. It doesn't strictly relate to design but it struck me as being very well worded an straighforward, not to mention very appropriate. I think it speaks well for most of us.If I get dementia, I’d like my family to hang this wish list up on the wall where I live;
1. If I get dementia, I want my friends and family to embrace my reality. If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things. I’ll be much happier for it.
2. If I get dementia, I don’t want to be treated like a child. Talk to me like the adult that I am.
3. If I get dementia, I still want to enjoy the things that I’ve always enjoyed. Help me find a way to exercise, read, and visit with friends.
4. If I get dementia, ask me to tell you …