Designing to Include Dementia & Personhood

A guide for designers and developers who are creating inclusive products for people living with dementia.

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As our population ages, the number of people with dementia rises. However, products are often not built to reflect what people living with dementia want and can use.

People living with dementia have great ideas from their lived experience. Designing with them means your technology will be more intuitive and ultimately more accessible to a wide range of people.

We can and should
● Create inclusive products for people living with dementia.
● Complement and respect personhood with these products.
● Include people living with dementia in the process.

Designing to reflect personhood really just means designing for people—people with values, beliefs, and a sense of self. People who want to have fun, form relationships, and live life to its fullest. The process may be challenging at times and will often require more flexibility and patience. However, the impact you make in this emerging field will be meaningful and well worth the effort!

Date created: March 18, 2022


Ron Beleno (a care partner); Jennifer Boger, (University of Waterloo, Research Scientist, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging); Arthena Caston (a Person Living with Early Onset Dementia); Luna Kawano (Designer & Knowledge Integrator, University of Waterloo); Jennifer Krul (Director of User Experience, Emmetros); Roger Marple (a Person Living With Alzheimer’s); Jay Reinstein (a Person Living with Early Onset Dementia); Tynan Sears (Project Developer, University of Waterloo); Mack Wilson (Project Developer, University of Waterloo)

Funding Acknowledgement

This resource was created with support from the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and was produced in part with funding from the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care hosted at the RIA. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Province.