University student's invention could improve Alzheimer's care

Based on research at various Alzheimer's care facilities near Surrey, a 22-year-old has developed a new product that he says will help improve the lives of patients with the debilitating disease.

Ben Atkinson-Willes wanted to create a jigsaw puzzle that would be easy enough for his recently diagnosed grandfather to use, but found that many of the puzzles that were simple enough for dementia patients to use we

University student's invention could improve Alzheimer's care re designed for children.

He developed the puzzles using images like a Supermarine Spitfire from World War II, with the pieces made of foam rubber for easy cleaning and a pre-completed edge to facilitate older people finishing their projects.

While working out the kinks, he says, "one resident, who hadn’t spoken all day during our testing, began talking about his time in the war when he completed the puzzle with a picture of a Spitfire," a memory he hadn't been able to recover prior to Atkinson-Wille's puzle.

His professor, Hilary Dalke, said that the products could help not just patients, but family members looking for more activities that they can share with loved ones who require Alzheimer's care.

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