One extremely common struggle with Alzheimer’s or dementia patients is being dehydrated. So when it occurred to Pat, Lewis Hornby’s grandma, he decided to bring about a change in the very way dementia patients drink water. He brought out water jellies that took on the color of candy to help them out.
The main reason for dementia patients to remain dehydrated is that they forget to hydrate, or are unable to consume such thin liquids. The Alzheimer’s Society says that there are certain medications and treatments that actually assist in dehydrating a patient severely. Thus, the need to stay constantly hydrated.
Lewis’ innovation, named Jelly Drops, helps with all these problems.
The dedication Lewis showed to bring about a small but meaningful change in the life of dementia patients has been memorable. He studied everything he found about living as a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s. Yahoo states that he learned everything there was about tools for the sensory deprived, spent long hours with a dementia psychologist, and also lived with his grandmother in her care home for quite a few days. All because he wanted to create something that could actually be used.
His desire finally paid off and brought forth Jelly Drops. These are brightly colored in 6 variants and are made almost entirely of water. They also include electrolytes and other gelling agents.
The Jelly Drops have a two-fold advantage- one, the size enables them to be held by dementia patients and ingested without any trouble. Two, that it takes a longer time to be broken down, thus making the body absorb the water for longer periods.
Interestingly, it was a major success with his own grandmother, who polished off 7 of them in under 10 minutes. This was almost equivalent to one single container of water, that would be a hassle on its own.
It has been noted that dementia patients are unable to register what to do when they are simply given a plate filled with food. But, if one were to give it in their hands, they know instinctively to put it in their mouth. When Lewis visited the other patients with a large collection of his ‘drops’, they graciously accepted it and took it in their mouth.
According to Lewis, there was something really exciting about that to dementia patients.
At 24 and a student of the Royal College of Art, Lewis is all set to make giant impacts on our world with his innovations. In fact, his Jelly Drops factor majorly into his Innovation Design Engineering Degree.
As it should be, Lewis has been honoured with several awards, like the Dyson School of Design Engineering DESIRE Award for Social Impact and the Helen Hamlyn Centre Design Award. Alzheimer’s Society has partnered with him through the Innovation Accelerator.
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Although the Jelly Drops are not officially sold in the market yet, Lewis believes that they would in the near future. As it stands, he is making an effort to put them in multiple hospitals and nursing homes. The website of the Jelly Drops mentions them as ‘Pattinson’s Jelly Drops’, after his grandmother.
All images: Facebook