Device with a heartbeat for people with advanced dementia

HUG, which looks like a soft toy on the outside, has been specially designed to help people with advanced dementia.

The BBC reports designers at Cardiff Metropolitan University hope it can help to ease anxiety and depression.

Designer Prof Cathy Treadaway said “HUG was developed out of a research project designing playful objects for people living with dementia.

“We did a number of workshops and that helped to come up with ideas for the broad principles, and one of those principles was the idea of creating something to nurture.

“So inside HUG there’s a magic box full of electronics which allows HUG to have a beating heart and it also has music on it.

“There are a lot of people that are living with the disease in the later stage and there’s actually very little out there for them.”

The handmade HUGs have been successfully trialled at a care home in Cardiff.

Its creators hope it’ll go into full production.

Alison Webb’s mother Margaret has being living with dementia for ten years. She said “Mum was just getting, all I can describe is, kind of slipping further and further away.

“Every time I came to visit I seemed to be losing a bit more of her.

“I walked in and mum was holding the HUG in the dining room and her face was just happy. She was just comfortable and happy and almost kind of serene really. It was just lovely. It was just so nice to see.

“The thought of your loved one kind of slipping away and maybe just slipping away for good is just terrifying. So to see her actually coming back is just amazing. It’s just brilliant.”

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