Tackling the Challenges of Dementia Care: A Creative Problem Solving Approach

I thought I’d give you a quick update on the MIRROR project, as the University have been publicising it (see CityNews).

Mirror is a €6.45m R&D project funded by the European Union (EU) Seventh Framework Programme. It aims to empower employees to reflect on their performance, share their experiences, solve problems more creatively, and work together to develop best practice. As part of the project one of our objectives is to improve the quality of care for people with dementia through new software and techniques designed to foster creative problem solving and collaboration amongst care workers. To do this we are working with the Registered Nursing Home Association.

 

Caring for people with dementia is incredibly difficult, because each case is unique and can change quickly. We hope to make it easier for carers to deal with the problems they encounter, by helping them learn from previous situations, and apply their own and their colleagues’ knowledge in new ways.

Over the course of the four-year project, our team her at City will work closely with two care homes, to evaluate their needs and design a set of smart applications and accompanying hardware that can be readily incorporated into their working environment.

For example, a carer could use a digital pen to capture a resident’s details quickly, easily and remotely, before sharing the data with a colleague who could devise a treatment based on a prior, similar experience. This example overcomes two key constraints: Staff currently have limited exposure to technology, so if staff can continue taking notes on pen and paper, it will lessen their resistance to the introduction of the technology, while at the same time make records available digitally so that all staff can share information about residents.

Our aim is to develop practical tools that carers can use in their day-to-day work, to develop fresh ideas, put them into practice and record if they were successful. We’re in the market for good examples of what’s been tried elsewhere, also from other domains, so please do share.

Author: Kristine Pitts

 

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About Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice
The Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice is an interdisciplinary research centre in the Cass Business School, City University London. http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/research-and-faculty/centres/creativity

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