A small piece of wood with some intricate designs could be a simple way of helping those with the late stages of dementia.Advertisement
Researchers and designers at the University of Central Lancashire have been running a trial of the ‘fidget widget’ in Preston.
Designed by Jane Souyave, a senior lecturer at the university’s school of art and design, she says it has made a big impact.
Ms Souyave said: “Working with the local Alzheimer’s Society they were telling us how ‘fidgeting’ by people with those in the later stages of dementia was commonplace.
“We decided to make these wooden tools which they could play with.
“I’ve been so pleased with the reaction, especially from the families of those who are affected.
“We produced a variety of designs. The one with the tassels seemed to be the most popular.”
Those with dementia use the wooden tools to pull on the designs or play with them, calming them or allowing them to communicate in a very basic form.
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The team is now working on trademarking the designs and then looking for funding to take the fidget widget to market.
The Alzheimer’s Society has a number of ways you can volunteer across the North West, and you can also donate to help fund research like what’s in the story above.