The Alzheimer’s Show – Active Minds in The Independent newspaper

Written by Active Minds on Wednesday the 19th of June 2013.


Older ladies hands holding a black and white photograph of herself in her twenties

Last year David Cameron launched the Dementia Challenge, a programme designed to make the UK a leader in research into the degenerative brain diseases (of which Alzheimer’s is the best known) with three key dementia challenge groups in: health and care, creating dementia friendly communities, and improving dementia research.

Now, in 2013, close to 1 million people in the UK have dementia, and 65 per cent of us are likely to someone in the country with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Show is therefore an important date in the UK’s diary these days and so it’s also no surprise that it’s getting a little press, too…

Tom Peck at The Independent newspaper covered the show:

One of the most interesting displays is of activity products for dementia made by Active Minds’, set up by 25-year-old Ben Atkinson-Willes. His products are, in the words of his mother Mandy, toys designed for “82-year-olds not two-year-olds”.

Mandy’s father, and Ben’s grandfather, now deceased, developed Alzheimer’s.

“He loved doing jigsaw puzzles,” she said. “He would do 500-piece puzzles, then he was doing 200-piece puzzles. But by the time he was doing simple puzzles, they were all designed for two-year-olds. You know, little kids’ cartoons and so on.”

“Looking after my grandfather,” said Ben, “there was nothing for him to do. He was playing with children’s toys, which is incredibly patronising.”

Another of his products is ‘Aquapaint’: outlines of birds and trees on white paper, which when dabbed with water on a brush reveal a colourful picture hidden beneath. It is toddler’s stuff, no question, but stimulating.

You can read the full article here.

Thank you to all who attended the Active Minds stand at The Alzheimer’s Show.