With today being World Alzheimer’s Day, GeniUS! – York’s first community open innovation forum – is launching a new city-wide challenge to brainstorm ways that people with dementia can have more control over their lives and feel more socially included.
Together with the recently approved North Yorkshire and York Dementia Strategy, it is hoped the crowdsourced solutions will provide a marked improvement in the quality of life for the growing number of those diagnosed with dementia. There are currently over 2,000 people living with dementia in York and Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates this number is set to grow to nearly 4,000 by 2030.
What’s more, The Alzheimer’s Society states that the one in three people over the age of 65 will go on to develop dementia. According to recent research, around two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community but of these around two-thirds say they don’t feel part of it.
This latest GeniUS! challenge is being supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, City of York Council and Science City York, and is looking for fresh, innovative and exciting ways to make York more dementia friendly.
Businesses, groups and individuals are being invited to pitch their ideas – whether through technology, new approaches or systems – that could help people with dementia negotiate daily tasks more confidently or support them in anyway. Proposals need to be submitted on the GeniUS! forum by 2 November.
On the forum they can get feedback on their ideas and get input from other innovators and experts to refine their proposals. A selection of the most promising solutions will then be invited to make a short presentational pitch to a panel of judges during York Business Week at the Create Your Future event on 12 November at the Hospitium in Museum Gardens.
Winner(s) will be announced on the day and a budget of up to £10,000 will be made available to invest in a pilot of the winning solution(s) in the city next year.
Councillor Tracey Simpson- Laing, Cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services, said:
“We know that for many people with dementia, the battle is not about getting a diagnosis and support from the health and social care system, but about the everyday things we take for granted – having control over daily life, spending time with friends and family and enjoying hobbies. Communities which are dementia-friendly have more opportunity to support people in the early stages of dementia, maintaining and boosting their confidence and ability to manage everyday living.”
We’re hoping that there are a lot of individuals and businesses in York that can rise to this challenge to come up with innovative ways around some of the problems they encounter and help make their lives, and the lives of people that care for them, that much easier and more rewarding.”
Philly Hare, Programme Manager for JRF’s programme Dementia without Walls, said: “Our work over the past year in York has convinced us that each and every one of us has a role to play in making life easier for those who are affected by dementia. We are thrilled that the best and most innovative brains in York will be sharing ideas and potential solutions though GeniUS!. This is a huge opportunity to demonstrate that York can be a leader in this area and that we can make our community one that is genuinely welcoming and inclusive of all those who are living with dementia.”
This time last year, over 1,000 local York residents helped to shape the future care of the elderly by taking by in a City of York Council consultation, and a similar level involvement in the GeniUS! challenge is hoped for.