Designing for Dementia Hub

Today, about 35.6 million people are living with dementia around the world, and it is estimated that their number will exceed 100 million people by 2050.In Japan, about 4.62 million people age 65 or older were living with dementia in 2012, and it is estimated that this number will exceed 10 million people in 2050. There are probably people with dementia near you, in your families, and among your neighbors or colleagues at work.

We are seeing an increasing number of people with dementia striving to maintain independence and continue doing what they can do for themselves. They continue to live with smiles in their communities, with their families and friends, while remaining in the workforce. Across Japan and the world, their presence and their voices radiate strength that brightens society. However, many people are facing difficulties in their daily lives, both at home and at work, after they or those close to them develop dementia.

Therefore, we are setting out, with you, to take action and create a future in which we live well with dementia.

The Designing for Dementia Hub consists of people with dementia; their families and supporters; community members; healthcare, long-term care, and welfare professionals; businesses; municipalities; relevant ministries and government bodies; academics; and many others. With our sights set on shaping the future, we are working together and taking actions that reflect the feelings, experiences, and knowledge of people with dementia.

Together, we will create more communities where people with dementia can live with dignity. We will encourage the steady creation of projects and services that support and enrich the lives of people with dementia. We will transform society so that people do not need to leave their jobs after they or their family members develop dementia. So you and the people important to you can keep living happily, even with dementia, and so you can act on your feelings, experiences, and knowledge, now and in the future, we will strive to create a future in which everyone lives well with dementia.

We look forward to meeting and working with all of you.

Satoko Hotta
Representative, Designing for Dementia Hub
(Professor, Graduate School of Health Management, Keio University)

A future in which we live well with dementia

Summary of Designing for Dementia Hub projects

1. Panel involving people with dementia

1-1. Building a platform where people with dementia, their families, and their supporters can tell their stories

To create a future in which we live well with dementia, we will establish a narrative platform for the stories of people with dementia, their groups, and their families and supporters. This platform will also work together to edit and publish collected stories. We will have a system that offers financial and non-financial incentives to people with dementia and others who participate in this project.

1-2. Training coordinators and matching them with opportunities

We will train coordinators called Designing for Dementia Facilitators who can understand and empathize with people with dementia and their families; understand principles of governments, businesses, and communities; and have the capacity to propose and promote ideas for people with dementia, municipalities, business enterprises and others to collaborate in forming or creating policy measures, projects, services and products that will make our future better.

2. Academic research and evaluation

2-1. Structuring the experiences and knowledge of people with dementia and integrating them with academic knowledge

We will plan both qualitative and quantitative research initiatives on topics including what people with dementia want to achieve, what daily life situations they are in, what is important to them, what difficulties they face, and how they are using their ingenuity in their daily lives. Results will be examined and analyzed with people with dementia. We will then integrate findings with academic knowledge, identify and map issues by category, and illustrate a vision of the future that we can create by resolving issues identified.

2-2. Building a foundation to promote social engagement/employment of people with dementia

We will assess the feelings and abilities of people with dementia, analyze various work tasks to develop a basis for universal employment, and develop methods to match people with dementia with job opportunities. We will also examine social systems that support social engagement and employment of people with dementia and construct a system in which they can participate in society and receive job assistance.

2-3. Collecting knowledge on policy measures, projects, services and products that have come about through co-creation and evaluating their results and effects

We will collect both domestic and international knowledge regarding instances of co-creation involving people with dementia. We will then examine methods to visualize and evaluate the value these efforts created for society.

3. Demonstration and Implementation

3-1. Issuing guidelines on the development of dementia-friendly products and services

We will establish a “Dementia Friendly Certification”(name tentative) and develop a guideline that outlines criteria for awarding that certification, procedures for development, and so on.

3-2. Promoting projects to develop products and services with people with dementia

Collaborating with partner businesses and municipalities, we will promote business development and town planning projects based on the Dementia Friendly Guidelines.

3-3. Promoting social investment in dementia-friendly projects

To ensure that certified projects attract sufficient social investment, we will promote “dementia-friendly investment,” which will resemble environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investments and health-oriented management branding, and aim at establishing it as an investment criterion.

3-4. Networking fields of demonstration (Living Lab)

We will form a network of fields where co-creation among people with dementia, governments, businesses, academics, and others is being demonstrated. We will then collect real-time data on topics like the homes of people with dementia and how their lives are supported by health care, long-term care, welfare professionals. Utilizing this network, we will also conduct multi-stakeholder social experiments.

4. Policy recommendations and dissemination

4-1. Forming and disseminating policy recommendations on co-creation

We will define “co-creation” among people with dementia, people involved in their care, governments, businesses, academics, and other parties. We will then work to familiarize society with that definition.

4-2. Formulating and disseminating policy recommendations based on academic evidence

Based on academic evidence, we will formulate and disseminate dementia-related policy recommendations in areas including provisions, care, livelihood support, social acceptance, social engagement, employment, and research and development. We will also consider the perspectives of people with dementia as well as international trends.