How dead a great dream without action
Area(s) of Focus
Final Year Project(s)
This project aims to explore and develop an intergenerational engagement space designed for people of all ages, in particular the elderly and children. The objectives include incorporating elements that promote social interaction, multi-sensory stimulation and familiarity on top of the skills encouraged in a regular playground to facilitate and sustain long-term engagement and interaction. The incorporated elements aim to help Persons with Dementia and MCI improve and/or maintain their condition and at the same time engage and stimulate the young and old creating a vibrant community.
As our population ages and family structures change, solo elderly households will become more prevalent. Loneliness can affect the wellbeing of older adults. This project aims to develop an intergenerational engagement space to reduce the effects of loneliness and lack of social interaction amongst the elderly. It creates a lively environment that incorporates multi-sensory stimulation, factor of nostalgia, and elements of familiarity as a mean to encourage social interaction. The project also aims to foster intergenerational interaction, bringing benefits to both young and old users while at the same time provide opportunities to utilise their creative skills. The target audience are the elderly age 65 years and above, as well as children aged 1 to 12 years old, that said, it is also open to people from all ages. Designs and concepts were generated by gathering insights from elderly residents and children living around the engagement space. Professors and designers from Nanyang Technological University were consulted to improve on the product design. St Joseph’s Home and Boon Lay Community Centre (Member of Parliament Patrick Tay Teck Guan BBM and Mr. Quek Qiu Peng) were consulted to further improve on the designs and address concerns. A prototype was developed and a short user-feedback session was done at St Joseph’s Home. Staff and occupational therapists appreciated connect for its ability to help the elderly stretch, stimulate their cognitive, sensory and motor skills. In addition, it also helps spark conversations between the young and old. There is potential for Connects to be further developed and implemented at other sites to address loneliness, decreasing circle of friends and lack of social interaction amongst the elderly.
MatchLink – A Multi-Sensorial Game for Persons with Dementia (2018)
Dementia refers to a ‘syndrome of acquired loss of cognitive function, behavioural changes and loss of social function’ (Jones, 2000). On a global level, it is one of the biggest global public health challenge with an estimated number of 44 million people affected by dementia worldwide in 2014 (Alzheimer’s Disease International, n.d.). The number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by the year 2050 (Alzheimer’s Disease International, n.d.). The cost of the global epidemic is estimated in 2010 to be US $604 billion and possibly more (Alzheimer’s Disease International, n.d.). This paper investigates non-pharmacological interventions to cognitively and sensorially stimulate the senses of persons with dementia, as well as the creation of a game that combines the benefits from cognitive and sensory games. It also introduces an approach which allows caregivers and occupational therapists to access the player’s abilities over time.