Problem discovered in research: “Dementia patients have little communication”
Field research and interviews were conducted in a nursing facility in Japan. What we found is that patients with dementia in nursing homes by-and-large do not engage in conversations. Advanced patients, early patients, and staff do not have much conversation, so the nursing home is usually very quiet. The staff told us that if patients do not engage in conversation, the symptoms will worsen more quickly. Also, we learned that family visits to the institutions were infrequent. This is apparently because when admitting a loved one into a nursing home, feelings of guilt swell up leading to a decrease in future visits.
Product for a good luck charm that holds the scent of one’s home so that one can bring that scent to patients in nursing homes. The sense of smell has power to awaken memories, so if you bring this charm into a nursing facility, patients with dementia can awaken memories of the smell of their own house. The patient may remember their family from this, which will alleviate some of the family’s stress; conversation can then increase and present an opportunity for communication between the patient and their family. The Japanese family’s coat of arms is carved into the front of the charm. The planning and research for this project was conducted in a team of four people; I was responsible for the product design and the idea.
1)Using an omamori, smell the scent of one’s own home
2)Remember your family by smelling the scent
3)The act of recollecting will create more conversation with family members and between themselves