Since 2010 Active Minds have been researching and developing activities to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Our mission is and will continue to be, to create positive, mindfully designed, person-centred activity products and games to help people lead active lives.
Our award winning Complete Kit contains a wide range of evidence-based and tested resources specifically designed to engage people with dementia. Supporting all members of the team to deliver spontaneous activity sessions and evidence person centered care.
Active Minds is a company built on years of research and personal experience. A close working relationship with Barchester Healthcare and Kingston University has allowed Active Minds to bring together knowledge, experience and research to create some unique activity products and games designed for people with dementia.
Active Minds continually measures its social impact to establish the benefits our activity products are having on the lives of those living with dementia. We use this data to continue making improvements to our products and development process.See our reports
91% of carers felt products improved well-being
91% of carers felt products reduced frustration
86% would recommend Active Minds products
103,300 people have seen an improvement in their quality of life so far
Read our latest news and updates around the topic of dementia
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Written by Ryan on Tuesday the 29th of January 2019.
Fidgeting and restlessness are common behaviours seen in people living with dementia and are often misunderstood. For a long time, it has been associated with agitation and can be seen in a negative light as a form of ‘disruptive behaviour’.
Judith Bower, internal trainer and Dementia Adviser for Alzheimer’s Society in Central and West Lancashire alongside Jane Souyave, Senior Graphic Design Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) noticed that suitable activities for people living with advanced dementia were limited. They both wanted to dispel the negative stigma around fidgeting and restlessness and instead create a product which would alleviate these actions.
They received funding from Alzheimer’s Society and UCLan’s Innovation funds which would allow them to progress with the intervention. It was here that ‘Positive Connections’ was formed.
From this, they started work on a concept which would later materialise into a product – the Fidget Widget, a gender-neutral, age-appropriate device. The Fidget Widget comprises of 5 wooden handheld tactile tools that are designed to not rely on memory or words. As the Fidget Widget does not represent a specific tool, they can be interacted with in numerous creative ways. All 5 of the wooden tools are available in a kit – the Fidget Widget Toolbox.
With no right or wrong way to use a Fidget Widget, Judith and Jane found that it helped wellbeing by supporting the psychological needs of feeling occupied and engaged. The Fidget Widget provides 5 different tools to choose from, providing a great range of activities to use which include the motions of spinning, sliding, twisting, turning and rolling.
During the two-year testing period of the tools, the families who were involved had support with techniques on how to communicate and connect with their loved ones using the tools. The feedback from the families was really positive and as these interactions didn’t just involve the personal care of their loved ones but allowed them to be involved in something more fun, interesting and which had a meaningful purpose.
The Fidget Widget Toolkit is available for purchase on our store here.