Stroke and dementia sufferers find current therapy tools “boring and childlike”. Lack of mental stimulation leads to de-motivation and the neglect of exercises necessary for recovery. Traditional therapy uses everyday objects offering little enjoyment, reward or goal progression to give a sense of improvement. Disconnected from nature and the world around them by their condition, patients need meaningful therapies that give a sense of normality and control, and help them re-engage with their interests.
Blossom is a motivational therapy tool for stroke and dementia sufferers to combine the improvement of fine motor skills and cognitive interaction. Consisting of three hand held flowers, increasing in complexity, the petals and bases are assembled by the patient to bring the experience of nature to the user. Inspired by the petal layout of flowers, Blossom guides the user through the creative process by the instinctive recognition of pattern.
Suitable as an individual or group activity, Blossom can integrate into Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for dementia sufferers (Age UK) and the rehabilitation therapies of Physical, Occupational and Therapeutic practitioners for stroke patients (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).
The clear communication of purpose of the flowers and their craft-like appeal emulate the benefits of nature on health. The beauty and display of pattern inspires emotional attachment to the product and pride in the visual outcome, indicating improvement and encouraging repeated use. Because Blossom answers the user need for a creative channel that is not obviously a therapy, each flower built is a stepping stone to recovery.
“Creativity and nature is what I love.”
(Primary research respondent)