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Breaking Well-Formed Opinions and Mindsets by Designing with People Living with Dementia

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Publication date1/04/2018
Host publicationCWUAAT 2018 Breaking Down Barriers: Usability, Accessibility and Inclusive Design
EditorsPat Langdon, Jonathan Lazar, Ann Heylighen, Hua Dong
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages12
ISBN (print)9783319750279
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper presents ongoing research that highlights how design thinking and acting can contribute significantly to breaking down preconceived ideas about what people living with dementia are capable of doing. The research, undertaken in collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland and other dementia organisations across the UK, has adopted a range of disruptive design interventions to break the cycle of well-formed opinions, strategies, mindsets and ways-of-doing that tend to remain unchallenged in the health and social care of people living with dementia. The research has resulted in a number of co-designed interventions that help change the perception of dementia by showing that people living with dementia can offer much to UK society after diagnosis. Moreover, it is envisaged that the co-designed activities and interventions presented here will help reconnect people recently diagnosed with dementia to help build their self-esteem, identity and dignity and help keep the person with dementia connected to their community, thus delaying the need for formal support and avoid the need for crisis responses. The paper reports on three design interventions where the authors have worked collaboratively with nearly 200 people diagnosed with dementia across the UK in co-design and development activities. The paper concludes with a number of innovative recommendations for researchers when co-designing with people living with dementia.