Lateral thinking: Alzheimer’s & Entrepreneurs

60% of people with dementia wander off, an issue that can prove hugely stressful for both patients and caregivers. Teen inventor Kenneth Shinozuka explains in this video how he came up with a novel solution to help his night-wandering grandfather and the aunt who looks after him … and how he hopes to help others with Alzheimer’s.

I remember speaking recently with a care home manager. One of his residents with dementia used to wander off; she always went to the bus stop down the road, in all weathers. She would often try to get on a bus before the staff could register that she had gone. The staff were forever having to go and fetch her back, which caused her distress.

One day, one of the carers had an idea and asked if it would be possible to put a bus stop out at the front of the care home, with a shelter.

And so they did. The resident happily sat at the bus stop, protected from the rain, and in sight of the staff who could monitor her wellbeing and easily bring her back in. On fine days there would be a few residents happily chatting at the bus stop, sitting on the bench in the shelter. It just took some lateral thinking.

How do you encourage creativity and lateral thinking in your team/organisation?

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One Response to Lateral thinking: Alzheimer’s & Entrepreneurs

  1. Anna Betz says:

    What a lovely story Jules. Inspired by the same need, thoughts and desire to create a dementia friendly environment, some caring people have created and are still inspired to create dementia villages.
    There is one in the Netherlands and another one is being created in Switzerland.
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/aug/27/dementia-village-residents-have-fun

    ‘Hogewey has 25 clubs, from folksong to baking, literature to bingo, painting to cycling. It also encourages residents to keep up the day-to-day tasks they have always done: gardening, shopping, peeling potatoes, shelling the peas, doing the washing, folding the laundry, going to the hairdresser, popping to the cafe. “Those small, everyday acts are just vital,” says Van Zuthem. “They stimulate; give people the feeling they still have a life.”‘

    It would be great to have some of these in the UK. How could we help to enable this?

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