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Distraction & Interaction

Service designers take on end-of-life at Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London

Photo of Oonie Chase
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By looking at end-of-life & hospice through a service design lens, designers found spaces for extension & engagement.  A couple highlights:

  • One of the shockers was the role of distraction:  "We couldn't figure out why patients were constantly gathering around a television to watch game shows. By talking to them, we discovered that the distraction it offered was the source of its appeal. When we realised this, we began exploring options for other forms of distraction and interaction."
  • Expanding the community served:  "We're planning instead to be community-facing, to provide outpatient services and to be the go-to place for information, advice and support on all end-of-life matters."


Article

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Outside of the obvious (i.e. connecting with that team):

We don't want to look end-of-life directly in the eye (clearly) - how might that desire for distraction be leveraged as a part of the design (whatever that may be)?

How (else) might hospice centers become places for life, not just end-of-life?

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Photo of Aaron Wong

Another great point, Oonie.
Distraction is a great way to put the question, how can we keep both patients and non-patients distracted? 
How can we get patients to not identify as someone dying, or someone in hospital care? What do we do in when someone is heading towards the end of life? It could be a great time to pick up an old hobby, meet new people, rethink your identity. It's hard to be sad when you're busy.

Photo of Oonie Chase

When my mom was dying, she and I both craved distraction.  We watched TV together, but it was a disconnected kind of distraction.  I found that reading to her gave us both the distraction that we craved but, more importantly, the connection that we needed.

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