PREVENTING FALLS IN THE ELDERLY
MOTIVATING SENIORS TO KEEP THEM ACTIVE
What product can we design to help elderly in falls?
Manuxa: Company that developed the strong hand project for arthritis patients
Sønderborg Kommune: Health Center to help patients in prevention or rehabilitation
Bertram Knudsens Have: Elderly Center
User researcher, concept and product developer and stakeholder outreach
We applied user-centred design methodology to bring empathy and value to the design.
involving users to empathize with our users and provide a solution according with their needs and desires.
interviews with stakeholders
interviews with users to know what they think, feel, desire and their experience in falls
card game to be engaged in the activity and the subject of falls
observations to know if their actions and thoughts are the same
Jane's card game & interview
"There's nobody to play with..."
There's no meaning and motivation for Jayne to be active.
75 YEARS OLD
Jayne's user profile
Jayne leaves alone in a private apartment part of a new elderly centre. She has experienced falls more often and now she feels secure having help close by but she feels alone. She experienced 'long lie' in one of the falls which she stayed on the floor for some hours until someone came to see her. The centre offers gymnastic and other activities but she doesn't go due to lack of motivation, same as cooking for herself.
Jayne's card game & interview
80 YEARS OLD
Martha is social and active and lives with two daughters. Family is the most important aspect of her life. Every weekend they spend time together. The activities are food oriented. She's independent and does static bicycle. She misses going for walks because she feels tired in a short time.
Martha's user profile
Martha's card game & interview
"My family is very important to me."
Martha's social live gives a meaning to be activities, has grocery shopping and cooking for others.
Linda is the only physiotherapist for the department in Fjord district in Sønderborg. She creates programs on fall prevention for each patient registered on the system. She understands their needs and support and create a collaboration with stakeholders. Linda goes to the patients home 1 or 2 days a week for 30min of personal training. She helps them to exercise, keep motivated and being agile.
Linda's user profile
"Once I leave their houses most of them don't exercise."
Her goal is to have elderlies live longer in their homes and keep them more independent before they go to an elderly centre.
From the data analysis we compared user profiles.
Seniors less active in the society have a lack of motivation and stop performing their daily activities leading to a critical physical condition compared to those who are active, who live close to their families and friends. These lead us to design a loop of falls and design a product to prevent the user to become inactive.
Loop of falls
Participatory Innovation method was applied to design together with Manuxa a product to help Sønderborg Kommune, where we want to intervene before the users where in a elderly center. We focused in the complexity of the technology required, the cost and the number of local and worldwide users.
We developed an app because it’s easier to share on a screen if you’re not at home and don’t have to carry an heavier device. Our users were using a tablet in an eldearly center to see pictures and for the nurse to keep the patient information. We used responsive design to be easily perceived and presented easy to use information architecture (IA) to avoid cognitive friction. The design between devices are similar and it contain the same information.
The physiotherapist must communicate and see the users to help them going through the exercises and users must also be visible to communicate and exercise with other users.
We created 6 categories identified by the different colours: a calendar, exercises to guide them what and when to exercise, achievements and music to motivate, location and contacts to socialize. Alert option to remember and a progress bar while exercising to motivate them and be self-aware.
I used UX Pin program to develop the app and made a business plan.
RESULTS AND IMPROVEMENTS
The next step was to create usability tests and apply the user’s feedback to improve the application. We needed to evaluate the value, usability, adaptability and desirability of the app.
The application was perceived by the stakeholders to be used for the next generation of users but very useful, meaningful, expensive but with potential depending on the investment of the healthcare system.