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Improving the quality of life of senior citizens suffering from dementia

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The project driven by Barcelona Design Center (BCD) seeks to provide a social health care model (for potential implementation) resulting from embedded design, a tool to help bringing changes in the lives of senior citizens suffering from dementia, through optimizing practices in the care system.

The number on dependant elders is rapidly increasing, with notorious incidence in the seventh decade of life or later. Studies calculate that the prevalence of degenerative mind deceases, or dementia, gets duplicated every five years from the age of 60. That is, 1% at 60, 2% at 65, 4% at 70, 8% at 75, 16% at 80 and 32% at 85 (White, Cartwright, Cornoni-Huntly and Brook, 1995).

Around 60% of all dementia cases are due to Alzheimer disease (AD) together with other mixed pathologies.

The annual cost of dementia in Spain is approximately 6.000 million euro; however, some studies demonstrate that most of that cost goes mainly to AD.

Previsions are that if the present situation is not modified, by 2030 the number of patients with AD can increase by a 75% (Mount & Dowton, 2006) while the active population that will face that challenge will have decreased dramatically (Wancata, Musalek, Alexandrowicz and Krautgartner, 2003) Social Design is used as a tool for innovating methods and strategies. Through analysis and multidisciplinary workshops we will set the guidelines for the implementation of a new and innovative active ageing model.

The project driven by Barcelona Design Center (BCD) seeks to provide a social health care model (for potential implementation) resulting from embedded design, a tool to help bringing changes in the lives of senior citizens suffering from dementia, through optimizing practices in the care system. To achieve this, we will combine the expertise of senior care specialists with that of service designers, users, the family, in a word, all stakeholders involved in the process.

Resulting proposals will be brought to a higher level in order to promote design solutions to policy makers.

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On 24 and 25 April 2014 the final conference of the Design-led Innovations for Active Ageing project took place at the Disseny…

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