LAUGH: Designing to enhance positive emotion for people living with dementia

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings - D and E 2016: 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion - Celebration and Contemplation, 2016, pp. 37 - 44
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Dementia comprises a number of degenerative neurological diseases. It is a complex condition and each person's experience and symptoms are different. There is a growing awareness of the need for well-designed products and services to assist with dementia care and to enhance wellbeing. This paper presents research investigating the design of playful objects for people with late stage dementia. The investigation described is a preliminary stage in the LAUGH (Ludic Artefacts Using Gesture and Haptics) project; an AHRC funded international, interdisciplinary design research project. People living with dementia, informal and professional carers, health professionals, art therapists, charity representatives, arts practitioners and designers are informing the research through a series of expert group participatory workshops and case study interviews. Observation, discussion, video, photography and reflective journals have been used to analyse and document the investigation. Findings presented in this paper focus on the importance of emotional memory and emotional expression in the care of people with late stage dementia; the value of sensory triggers and props to stimulate emotional remembering; and the importance of designing to promote high quality social connections between people. These findings will inform the future design prototyping and development stage of the LAUGH research.
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