25 years in the making ...

...Yours in just a few days

Angela realised over 25 years ago that the provision for the elderly in care, with dementia, was totally inadequate. She was determined to improve communication, and to stimulate and maintain as long as possible, the parts of the brain that were still functioning. Angela designed a board game as an assessment to do this. It was extremely well received, but she was badly injured when a patient fell on her damaging her spine. Laura was involved at the outset because of her experience in medical graphics and game designs, and because she is Angela’s sister.

Six years ago, they decided to look again at this tool and conducted trials in various North London Care Homes and Day Care Centres. The resulting modified and simplified game was entered into two competitions where they won prizes. It was taken to the national Dementia Congress where it got very positive feedback and they were invited to go onto Dragon’s Den. Unfortunately, ill-health intervened and development was put on hold.

A few years after this and with interest from a publishing company, Laura decided to look again at this project she believed so passionately about. She contacted a number of doctors, occupational therapist and care centre managers, to get their professional opinion on the need for such a tool. They all agreed that it would be extremely useful when working for people with dementia.

Laura contacted the NHS Research Design Service for advice in getting this to market. They thought it was a great concept so introduced her to Professor Gill Livingstone, Head of research department of psychiatry of older people at University College London. Gill loved the concept of using a board game and agreed that her team would work with Laura on more development and trialling. 

Having now been thoroughly tested, the next step was to have manufacture the games. Determined to ensure the highest quality, a specialist games company in Germany was commissioned and the result is the beautiful, high quality product we now have.

It has been a long journey, but I hope you will agree, it’s been worth it!

“Knowing what people liked before – is only an indication of what they like now”
Prof Gill Livingston

Laura & Angela at the launch of call-to-Mind,
Scottish Dementia Congress in Edinburgh

Gill Livingston
Professor of Psychiatry of Older People
UCL