From product to process: Reframing design research methods to support well being in the dementia care environment
Birmingham City University
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The paper reports on the findings from a PhD study that investigates how creative activities can support the subjective wellbeing of individuals living with dementia in the residential care environment. The methodology for the study drew on theories and tools located in the field of design research; developed using data gathered from qualitative interviews and observation of dementia care units and activity sessions. Design research and dementia care both require the practitioner to have an empathic understanding of the lived experience of others. Methods to support an empathic understanding are well documented in the field of design, but are normally used to generate insights that affect change within the designer. This study demonstrates that tailoring these methods to be accessible to dementia care staff can provide opportunities that generate insights not just for the designer but also for participants. Tools were designed and delivered to care staff (n=11) through facilitated workshops in care homes (n=5). Through engagement in creative activities these tools provided opportunities for staff to reflect on the abilities and well-being of residents; and helped them to develop an awareness of their own tacit knowledge. The paper presents the methodological framework on which these tools were based and discusses the potential benefits that such tools hold for the field of dementia care; through innovative practical approaches to support training and delivery of high quality care.
Third International Conference Exploring the Multi-Dimensions of Well-Being;Co-Creating Pathways to Well-Being;
Coleman, S., Treadaway, C., and Loudon, G. (2016) 'From product to process: reframing design research methods to support well-being in the dementia care environment', Well-Being 2016: Co-Creating Pathways to Well-Being (Proceedings of the Third International Conference Exploring the Multi-Dimensions of Well-Being, Birmingham City University, September 5-6). Birmingham City University, pp. 132-135.
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