Northcott and NI are seeking to better understand what people with Younger Onset Dementia (YOD) want, and need, in a home. Placing human centred design at the forefront of all of our projects, we started by speaking to the experts – people living with Dementia.
There are over 400 different types of Dementia (Understand Together, 2021). YOD, is any type of Dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65 (Dementia Australia, 2021). In Australia, there are approximately 28,300 people currently living with YOD (Dementia Australia, 2021).
Thanks to a Woodend Foundation grant, the Great Homes, Great Lives Project hopes to understand the day to day realities of living with YOD, what aspects of a home support individuals to live a great life with YOD, and what aspects of a home could be improved or changed. In particular we are also exploring the role that supported living or support accommodation may play in supporting individuals with YOD.
Sam and Erin from the NI Team, with support from Dementia Australia, ran 3 workshops dedicated to listening to the stories, opinions and recommendations of people living with YOD.
We heard that autonomy and control were vital in maintaining self esteem and self confidence. We also heard about the importance of: community involvement, safety within homes, access to nature and outdoor spaces, use of technology and integration of visual communication within the home. Most importantly we heard about the role that family, friends, and support networks played in maintaining skills, maintaining connections and maintaining that great life.
NI would like to thank Dementia Australia and the people who participated in the workshops for their candid and honest thoughts on what they want and need in a home.
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Understand Together. (2021). Types of Dementia
Dementia Australia. (2021). Dementia Prevalence Data. https://www.dementia.org.au/information/statistics/prevalence-data