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Preventing future falls for dementia sufferers

With the added complexity of dementia, how we might we prevent future falls when older people can't remember to take extra care

Photo of Anna Chinnery
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How does your research relate to the Challenge?

My research has been not proactively sought out, but rather as a result of personal circumstances – assisting my mother navigating from independent living to an aged care residence due to a fall that decreased her mobility in conjunction with her cognitive decline due to dementia which proved living independently impossible.

Tell us about your research:

I've seen my mother physically immobile for the first time in her life due to a fracture in her pelvis. Though this was a life-changing event, as up until then she was still physically able to go shopping and many of her house-keeping duties, however being complicated by her cognitive decline was the most frustrating part. It's challenging to try & rehabilitate someone who cannot remember that they need to take extra care with walking / getting out of bed after a fracture. This is the biggest challenge I face with her health. It's a constant worry.

What is an insight, question, or provocation that might inspire others during this challenge?

What technology / infrastructure / experiences can we design that could act as preventative measures and remediate some possible day to day scenarios of patients with osteoporosis that they do not need to think about themselves.

Tell us about yourself

I currently work in a Human-Centred Design in the corporate world, however have found myself caring for and advocating for my mother who has recently moved into Aged Care due primarily to dementia, and has in the last 6 months has had several falls - the most recent ending up requiring surgery and literally been at a loss as to what approach I can take to avoid future falls.

If you participated in a Research Event, tell us which Chapter or city you came from:

Brisbane, Australia

(Optional) What might you need to understand to be successful in the Ideas Phase ahead?

I have so many questions, but probably the most pressing, is what resources are currently available in aged care residencies to help prevent falls for not only fragile, but more so cognitively impaired residents.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Thanks Anna Chinnery for sharing your insights in the Research Phase! What ideas did your findings spark? Now is the time to share them in the Ideas Phase!

As you work on your submission, be sure to check out the following resources:
1] Challenge Personas and Journey Map: These stories provide a window into the lives of older adults and the health system, for which you are designing
2] Resources Page: This collection of resources spans osteoporosis, designing for health, and the Challenge process to support you in crafting your submission.
3] Evaluation Criteria: This is the criteria against which we will be evaluating your ideas. We highly suggest revisiting this throughout the Challenge process.
Here is the page:

Submissions must be published on the OpenIDEO platform by July 3rd at 5 p.m. PST - but we HIGHLY encourage you to upload the first draft of your submission sooner rather than later, so our community team has time to provide feedback on your idea and because it’s just more fun.

Let me know if you have any questions. We'll also be hosting Office Hours on June 5th 8:30 AM PST. Add it to your calendar or save this link to join. []

See you in the Ideas Phase,
OpenIDEO Community Fellow