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Considering elderly / a design exploration into the experience of aging


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Considering elderly / a design exploration into the experience of aging

  1. 1. + + providing fuel for innovation in health care A design exploration considering elderly living ©fuelfor 2009
  2. 2. “When the weather is good I come out here into the garden [of the elderly home] to give the old tree a hug - theysay this will give me good energies!” ©fuelfor 2009
  3. 3. Considering elderly I Introduction & backgroundA number of key demographic, economic, socio-cultural and technology forces are reshaping the elderly care landscapeand shifting our perceptions and expectations around aging and independent living.How can design help citizens, policy-makers, product manufacturers and care service providers respond to these challeng-es in innovative, socially sensitive and sustainable ways?How can we rethink the experience of aging in today’s society?fuelfor, in collaboration with soft product designer Ollie Niemi and product designer Ferran Lajara, carried out a preliminarydesign research project to explore the needs of elderly people, their families and care givers and identify opportunities forinnovation. In a fast track process of 3 weeks from research-to-concept-to-prototyping, a set of provocative idea seedshave been developed and will be used to communicate a range of innovation opportunities found to exist within elderlycare - from clothing to services, policies to built environment solutions. project set-up field research / interviews synthesis / creative workshop / prototyping communicationStaying relevant and competitive within the constraints of the current economic climate is a challenge for many companiesand organisations. As R&D budgets and resources are being cut, key health care issues remain unresolved. There is a needfor a lower investment-lower risk innovation offer that can allow companies to keep innovating through the downturn - anessential characteristic to survive and succeed. ©fuelfor 2009
  4. 4. Considering elderly I Because...By the year two thousand and thirty, half of the population of Western Europe will be over fifty years old.Above the age of sixty-five, on average every third person suffers fall-related injuries.One in every three fallen elderly will die as a direct implication of their fall.The total medical cost of fall-related injuries is nineteen billion dollars per year. ©fuelfor 2009
  5. 5. Considering elderly I Who did we talk to?Maria 74 Tibor 70 Anjalina 94 Clara 70Anna 76 Merce - Social worker Daniel -Family member Nuria - Home helperA qualitative sample of 6 elderly people aged 65+ years and living at home alone, with family or in a care home were invitedto participate in the study. Key stakeholders, such a family members and care workers, were also included to understandan holistic set of issues and needs.In a comprehensive study we might also include clinical care providers, insurance companies, policy makers and urbanplanners to complete a stakeholder map. ©fuelfor 2009
  6. 6. Considering elderly I Design ResearchIn-home visits, ethnographic observation, interactive interviews, guided tours and group discussions were some of thedesign research techniques used to gather insights into elderly people’s daily lifestyle, attitudes and needs. ©fuelfor 2009
  7. 7. Considering elderly I Design workshop process synthesise research material cluster key stakeholder needs create innovation framework generate ‘what if?’ scenarios visualise ideas prototype selected concepts ©fuelfor 2009
  8. 8. Considering elderly I Workshop resultsThe ideation workshop generated numerous idea seeds, formulated as a list of ‘what if’ scenarios. Based on technologicalfeasibility and impact on a range of levels from individual to urban, selected ideas were visualised and some selected forrapid creative prototyping and testing. urban Urban props facility Vitalising care homes 78 ‘what if’ scenarios 8 concepts described in this presentation community Community care Myway Sharing goals individual Rehabilitation clothing UpgrAID Indicating clothing ©fuelfor 2009
  9. 9. Considering elderly I UpgrAID1 in 3 elderly fall and injure themselves, often leading to hospitalisation, a rapid decline in physical and men-tal condition and potentially even death. For this reason some elderly are afraid to venture out of their homefor fear of falling. Ironically, staying mobile and active also contributes to healthy aging. Existing hip protec-tion products are stigmatising and suffer from non-compliance over time. Advances in materials technologiesoffer new functionalities that can be incorporated into clothing. d3o is one such smart material that offersprotection on impact.This idea combines a service and a product - a bespoke upgrading service that is offered in a seniorstore or rehab clinic, integrating a soft protector into clothing such as an overcoat to offer fall protec-tion in a comfortable, non stigmatising, flexible way. losing balance doctor consultation senior shop upgrAIDed coat active protection on impact staying active ©fuelfor 2009
  10. 10. Considering elderly I UpgrAIDHigh performance sportswear integrates advanced materials technology that allows people to push the boundaries ofphysical activity while staying comfortable and safe. Such textile technology can also be integrated into functional clothingfor elderly to extend the boundaries of their safe and confident mobility, opening up a potential new territory of innovation. schoeller®-PCM actively balances out too cold or too hot temperatures. Phase Change Materi- als (PCM) change their state of matter at a cer- tain temperature: from liquid to solid and vice versa. When the temperature rises, the excess interface with coat heat is stored. When the temperature falls, the previously stored heat is released again. PCM intelligent insulation + d3o protection inserts pocket for valuables d3o is a specially engineered material made with intelligent molecules. They flow with you as you move but on shock lock together to absorb the impact energy. d3o has been developed for high impact sport applications such as head, knee, hip, wrist, elbow protector. ©fuelfor 2009
  11. 11. Considering elderly I UpgrAID With the soft protector integrated into a coat it can be simply closed around the hips to provide snug and reassuring protection. Discreet storage offers a secure yet accessible place for valuables such as keys. By detaching from the coat, the soft protector can be worn at home as a stand alone product, providing comfort by actively balancing temperature. ©fuelfor 2009
  12. 12. Considering elderly I Rehabilitation clothingElderly may struggle to perform regular rehabilitation and general mobility exercises due to a lack of un-derstanding of the need to stay active, boredom with routines leading to non-compliance, feeling unsafeperforming exercises on their own. Physiotherapists and rehab specialists encourage elderly to maintain anexercise routine at home, but need to be able to adapt care plans according to capability as people age, getill and their movement deteriorates.This garment idea offers elderly a simple, fun and safe way to perform rehab and mobility exercisesin the home. It also offers care givers the opportunity to modify and tailor exercises for patients in asimple, effective way by using pockets around the garment as a flexible system. ©fuelfor 2009
  13. 13. Considering elderly I Rehabilitation clothing ©fuelfor 2009
  14. 14. Considering elderly I Indicating clothingManaging clothing to stay hygienic, comfortable and safe can be a challenge for elderly due to their reducedmovement, memory, mobility, sight and sense of cold.This idea offers garments that indicate frequency of usage and wear through simple visual feedback,and enlarged narrative graphics. ©fuelfor 2009
  15. 15. Considering elderly I Indicating clothing Thermo-chromic ink indicates wear, changing to orange with body temperature and resetting back to green on washing temperature. ©fuelfor 2009
  16. 16. Considering elderly I MywayFamilies struggle to confront and effectively address difficult issues related to aging loved ones and the ac-companying impact on lifestyles and routines. They find it hard to clearly identify the choices theyface, aswell as to feel a sense of control over their decision-making.This idea is an interactive, visual tool that helps people discuss sensitive subjects and work out pos-sible future scenarios in order to plan with effectiveness and reassurance. The kit could also be usedby other groups such as: human resource managers discussing retirement and pension options withtheir employees, social workers facilitating decision-making together with the families they supportor clinical professionals discussing care options with patients and their families. ©fuelfor 2009
  17. 17. Considering elderly I MywayParticipants were given a memento of the workshop; a booklet reminding them of the key principles of experience designfor health care and a set of red dots to continue identifying experience-based improvement areas for NHS Scotland. ©fuelfor 2009
  18. 18. Considering elderly I Sharing goalsStaying physically active, maintaining cognitive skills, staying hydrated and eating fruit and vegetables can bechallenging for people of all ages. It can be more motivating to achieve common goals through collaboration.This idea enables elderly and their care givers, professional or informal, to set shared activity, diet orcultural goals using a set of tools appropriate for each of them; a paper calendar with stickers or ani-Phone digital application. Both are visual, use the same icons and can be shared and discussed toplan and review activities together. Individual achievements are rewarded and add up to collective re-wards that motivate them to work together towards their goals. ©fuelfor 2009
  19. 19. Considering elderly I Community careElderly people interact regularly and develop relationships with certain local community members such asgrocery store owners, newsagents, bakers, butchers etc. Often these people have greater insight into thecondition and activities of elderly than their family or more formal care givers - they can keep a look out forthem in a neighbourly, friendly way.This idea connects such informal care givers in order to create a basic level of support at a communi-ty level that can encourage elderly to feel safe and be active, as well as provide additional insight forformal care givers. Basic training can be given to equip them with the necessary skills to provide in-the-community care, while offering additional social and business incentives to justify the additionaleffort involved. ©fuelfor 2009
  20. 20. Considering elderly I Vitalising care homesCare homes can be isolating places, fortress-like inside the city or placed on the urban periphery. This canhave a stigmatising and isolating effect on the inhabitants, care workers and society in general.This idea looks at ways to create a de-centralised care home in and around the city; connecting elderlyto city services and facilities, maintaining their contact to other citizens and reducing the stigma as-sociated with care facilities. There are a range of aspects to this idea; for example designing combinedcare facilities for elderly and children that reconnect generations through shared activities and createa positive impression, flexible care plans that offer variable lengths of stay from hourly to daytime topermanent, or dynamic care environments that stimulate the senses. ©fuelfor 2009
  21. 21. Considering elderly I Urban propsCities such as Barcelona cultivate green spaces and social zones, and indeed some elderly people gather inparks to socialise, play games together and relax. They modify the urban landscape to store their belongingsand set up areas for group games of cards, petanca, dominoes or chess. But not all elderly can reach a parkor feel confident enough to venture out into the city.This idea is a range of street furniture that adapts the existing urban landscape to create areas forrest, play and social life dotted around the city. Providing supportive props such as seats, chess-boards and storage to encourage and enable elderly people to enjoy life outdoors. ©fuelfor 2009
  22. 22. Considering elderly I Urban props ©fuelfor 2009
  23. 23. Considering elderly I Next stepsReflecting on the project to date, we have found that through exploring this field we are better able to comprehend thecomplexity of social, cultural and economic issues around the experience of aging in today’s society. However, we also seea wealth of rich opoportunity areas where design and innovation could make a tangible difference for the elderly popula-tion, their families and care givers.We are currently in an evaluation stage of the project, going back to research participants to gather feedback on the work-shop concepts. We are actively seeking opportunities to communicate the project, as well as identify partners and clientsinterested in developing some of these ideas further. If you are working on the topic of elderly living or are interested in col-laborating in this field, we would love to hear from you.On a personal note, this project was inspiring, connecting us with a whole generation of people we rarely have a chanceto meet and spend time with. Their stories and experiences, attitudes and challenges have opened our eyes to our ownpreconceptions about age, and our expectations around relationships across generations. We became in touch with theprospect of our own aging but equipped with a fresh perspective - more open, less fearful and certainly more motivated toaddress some of the issues that prevent age from being celebrated in society.Finally, we would like to thank all of the people who agreed to participate in this study for their time, honesty and generos-ity without which we could not have learnt so much in so short an amount of time. ©fuelfor 2009
  24. 24. + for more information please contact us +34 672 252 681 ©fuelfor 2009