co-designing the Dementia Adviser service

thinkpublic was invited to work with the Alzheimer’s Society to investigate methods for improving the everyday lives of people with dementia, their carers and service providers. Our project Alzheimer100 was part of the design innovation programme Dott 07.

In order to gain first hand insight into living with dementia, the preliminary stage of the project saw thinkpublic carry out a series of interviews with people affected. A skill-sharing workshop was then held to train people with dementia in film-making and interviewing skills. The insights and ideas fed directly into co-design workshops, and an emotional 18-minute documentary film was produced. The process resulted in a number of project proposals, including a Dementia Signposting Service, a Mentoring Programme for Carers and the design of a safe “Wandering Garden”.

The National Dementia Strategy, launched in October 2008, was informed by thinkpublic’s recommendations. thinkpublic worked with the Alzheimer’s Society to develop the Dementia Signposting Service, which aims to result in national implementation.

In recognition of the projects’ success and innovative use of design thinking, Alzheimer100 was highly commended by The Dott07 Journal (People’s Voice Award) and exhibited at the Dott07 Festival, held on the bank of the River Tyne in Newcastle Gateshead.

The Alzheimer’s Society has produced a video explaining the positive difference the Dementia Adviser service is making. You can watch the video by clicking on the link: Dementia Adviser service

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‘“Your approach to engaging people who need services in the design process is an inspiration to everyone working in health care and an essential way forward. The thoroughness of your approach meant that the engagement was meaningful and central to the design, and has helped to move ideas into development.”’
Julia Ashley, Information Project Lead, Alzheimer’s Society