Fidget ball prototype for dementia patients
How it was made
I created a petal shaped pattern which would interlock when sewn together. The shape was inspired by a traditional beachball which was popular in the 1970s. I mapped out where each piece would go before sewing together. Using my test scraps was a sustainable way of achieving a design with multiple tactile elements. I hand and machine sewed woven samples, buttons and beaded elements to fiddle with. The beaded handle offers support when holding the ball as patients may not possess grip strength. Materials have been attached securely with safety in mind.
The journal article ‘Sensory Design for Dementia Care – The Benefits of Textiles’ has explored interesting topics of the link between textiles and dementia care. The vast range of sensorial qualities and physical properties of textiles make it an extremely suited and almost essential material for setting up spaces and facilitating activities with a sensory focus.The perception of sensorial qualities is influenced by factors such as cultural background and personal experiences. The richness of textiles and its diverse possibilities of use offer vast opportunities of sensorial exploration and experience that can meet someone’s sensory preferences and psychological needs, e.g. comfort, security, identity, occupation and pleasure.Applying textiles as a material to enhance spatial design can create a warm, comfortable and calm atmosphere reducing negative sensory stimuli such as glares and noise.