These “Jelly Drops” are not only tasty, they can also do wonders in helping patients with dementia stay hydrated.
Meet the man behind this wonderful creation, Lewis Hornby—an innovation design engineering graduate from the Royal College of Art in London.
Hornby came up with the idea of an edible water treat after his grandma, Pat, who suffers from dementia, was unexpectedly rushed to the hospital as a result of dehydration one day.
“Thankfully, after 24 hours on IV fluids she was back to her normal happy self,” Hornby wrote on JamesDysonAward.org.
According to TheAlzheimer’sSite, patients with dementia often forget to drink water or forget where to find water. For those dementia patients suffering from dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, they simply find it hard to swallow thin liquids.
Also, they might not be able to recognize that they’re thirsty as “oftentimes the part of the brain that deals with sending thirst signals to the body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to,” as stated on the Water for Health website.
For these reasons, dementia patients, including Hornby’s grandma, are at greater risk of dehydration.
To turn his idea into a reality, Hornby consulted dementia psychologists and doctors, and lived in a care home for a period of time, as part of his research.
Five months later, Lewis Hornby successfully developed “Jelly Drops” for his graduating project, MNN reported.
Each jelly drop contains over 90 percent water, along with gelling agents and electrolytes.
The colorful “jelly drops” that are presented appealingly in a sealable tray look like a delectable gift! How could one resist?
“From my observations, people with dementia find eating much easier than drinking. Even still, it can be difficult to engage and encourage them to eat. I found the best way to overcome this is to offer them a treat!” Hornby wrote.
Hornby presented the attractive “box of candy” to his grandma, and she had no reservations about digging into the super-hydrating treats.
Within 10 minutes, she gobbled up seven bite-sized Jelly Drops!
Caregivers of patients with dementia, as well as nurses, enthusiastically welcomed Hornby’s fascinating creation, which has won the Helen Hamlyn Centre Design Award, Snowdon Award for Disability, and the Dyson School of Design Engineering DESIRE Award for Social Impact.
“The home is buzzing with the news of these sweets,” one nurse from Scotland wrote on the JustGiving fundraising page initiated to help Hornby upscale Jelly Drops’ production.
“The possibilities for the future are massive and I badly want this to work.”
“I struggled to get my mum with severe dementia to drink anything … she also developed a very sweet tooth so these would have been perfect,” one caregiver commented.
According to an update on the Jelly Drops Facebook page, Hornby will be partnering with the University of West London’s “Food Innovation Lab” to further develop Jelly Drops, and to assess the product’s effectiveness.
Hi everyone, just a quick update. I've made a lot of contacts in the last couple of weeks and I'm in the process of…
“I’ve teamed up with a number of local care homes to trial,” Hornby wrote.
Hopefully, Hornby’s Jelly Drops, which could make a difference in many people’s lives, will be released in the market soon.
Watch the video:
These Jelly Drops look like delicious gummies, but they’re actually a life-saving invention for people battling dementia
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