Caring for someone with Dementia

The RAF Association and Alzheimer’s Society have been undertaking an innovation project looking to develop solutions to support Royal Air Forces serving personnel in their unique situation of caring for someone with dementia from a distance. Over 60 people have engaged so far, including staff within the Association, RAF Community Support, Alzheimer’s Society staff, and serving personnel/partners who are affected by dementia.

During the Learn stage, they undertook desk research and conducted interviews with stakeholders and their findings enabled them to develop a concept to support serving personnel and their partners caring for someone with dementia from a distance. In the Investigate stage, they spoke with serving personnel and their partners affected by dementia to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.

As part of the Find stage, they held a creative workshop to co-create ideas to overcome these challenges. 22 people attended, including staff from both organisations, serving personnel, product designers and many more, generating over 50 ideas. The project team reviewed these ideas, taking into account feedback from the workshop and viability, desirability and feasibility, shortlisting four solutions. These potential solutions were then shared with stakeholders and audience for feedback, generating over 70 responses.

Where are we now?

Following review of this feedback, the Association will be prototyping two potential solutions in the Experiment stage over the next few months. Their intention is to build minimum viable products: this means that the two prototypes will have enough features to allow testing and feedback, enabling further development.  

How can you help with the next stage?

The RAF Association wants to ensure that their solutions meet the needs of serving personnel and their partners who are affected by dementia. Therefore they are looking for participants to test and provide feedback on their two prototypes, specifically from:

Serving personnel who are unpaid carers

Serving personnel who are supporting an unpaid carer

Partners of serving personnel who are unpaid carers

Partners of serving personnel who are supporting an unpaid carer

Health and/or social care professionals who support the above

Participation in Experiment stage can be tailored to fit around existing commitments and RAFA have asked that we share this Call to Action with relevant individuals and groups within your networks.

The Experiment stage ends on the 30th September 2019. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Dr Prema Nirgude, Research and Evaluation Manager (prema.nirgude@rafa.org.uk) prior to then.

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