Dementia Game Set | 認知障礙症遊戲
As ageing population has become one of the world’s top challenges to tackle, design graduate Ryan Cheng decided to respond to the global phenomenon with a heart of social care. After serious research and participatory observation during his summer internship on the common elderly problems of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia at the Mind Delight Memory and Cognitive Training Centre (MLC), Ryan has developed a set of games in his final-year project to alleviate symptoms of dementia – “Dim Sum”, “Fly”, “Tea Bags” and “Line”. While “Dim Sum” has officially been included in MLC’s “Mind Delight Games” to prevent dementia, the other 3 games also won him the Silver Award of Incubation Circle 2016-17 by the New World Development Company Limited.
“Fly” is a game that integrates the cultural Chinese game of “Paper Dolls” to strengthen the calculation ability of elderly dementia patients. Using a swatter, the simple gesture to flip the 3 types of cards, Fly, Bee and Butterfly, corresponds to the mathematical addition of 1 mark, 2 marks and minus 1 mark. The second game “Tea Bag” makes use of the daily object to replace the traditional bean bags throwing game, which targets to train the elderly’s attention, memory and hand-brain coordination skills similar to what a card-memorising game does. When one’s hand holds a tea bag its temperature will exceed 31℃ due to thermal energy, its colour will then change; when it is released the original colour returns to require the players’ memorisation to match tea bags with the same colour. “Line”, the last game concerns people-oriented design that is minimalist to focus on visual space and image recognition. With an illuminated pen to prevent the elderly people from dirtying their hands, they have to either trace the lines to draw certain objects or follow the directions on an easily replaceable sheet by drawing an undisrupted line on an electronic colour-changing board, where the traces will automatically disappear after 1 minute.
Dementia patients often display a set of symptoms that includes memory loss, disorientation, difficulties in reasoning, organising, problem-solving or communication. These problems are often small to start with, but in time they become severe and affect one’s daily life. With the aim to create an environment to encourage elderly people with dementia to establish healthy relationships with others, the “Dementia Game Set” is introduced both to attract them to train their abilities in the 6 areas of Spatial Cognition, Memory, Language, Concentration, Object Identification and Calculation. With simple gestures and calculation in “Fly”, “Tea Bags” and “Line”, Ryan hopes that the elderly can complete all the games in one simple action: “one throw, one swat, one line”.
When the「DesignXcel」team approached Ryan for further development of the Dementia Game Set, he honestly expressed that there are meant to be 9 games in total for the full set, and material support would be a great help to him. In search of potential entrepreneurs to sponsor the production of his meaningful project, he frankly told the team the hardest thing is to find the balance between the levels of difficulty to arouse or maintain the elderly’s interests. Since people with dementia do not think like average people, his best bet is to rely on simple yet nostalgic and down-to-earth elements that they are familiar with to trigger their reminiscences. For the upcoming plans of the new games, Ryan has already started working with the「DesignXcel」collaborators on testings, and hopefully will be out soon.
人口老化是全球最大挑戰之一，設計畢業生鄭觀平決定以一顆關懷社會的心回應這個全球性現象。經過在智活記憶及認知訓練中心的暑期實習，他認真研究和在參與中觀察長者常患的阿茲海默症和認知障礙症問題，並在畢業作品設計了一系列幫助減輕認知障礙症狀遊戲 — 想點就點、拍烏蠅、茶包和變色畫板。想點就點已經正式納入智活預防認知障礙的智活遊戲，另外三項則為他奪得新世界發展有限公司「新意圈」計劃2016-17的銀獎殊榮。
Cheng Kwun Ping, Ryan | 鄭觀平
Mind Delight Memory and Cognitive Training Centre
Incubation Circle 2016-17 (Silver Award) by the New World Development Company Limited
Products | Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong | 香港高等教育科技學院