Alzheimer's Society and Sport England partner with Social-Ability

The Alzheimer’s Society and Sport England are partnering with Social-Ability to revolutionise care for people living with dementia.

The partnership will see the roll out of The Happiness Programme – a first-of-its-kind initiative that uses interactive technology to develop activities and games for care home residents. Initially, the partnership will begin in ten care homes nationwide and participants will be invited to test new activities co-designed with the Alzheimer’s Society and funded by Sport England.

A survey of Happiness Programme users showed that 98 per cent of care services experienced improvements in social and physical wellbeing, and 89 per cent saw improvement in cognitive wellbeing. Additionally, one in six care services observed fewer falls, and one in five saw improvements in nutrition and hydration for the people they support, as a result of increased activity levels.

The Happiness Programme activities utilise interactive light technology, enabling users to engage in physically and mentally engaging games like popping bubbles, playing the piano, colouring pictures, and sweeping leaves. The programme can be enjoyed either independently or as a group activity, and can feature props to elevate experiences and further increase range of motion.

John Ramsay, managing director and co-founder of Social-Ability said: “We're thrilled to partner with Alzheimer's Society and Sport England to expand the Happiness Programme’s reach to those who truly need it. I founded Social-Ability to bring laughter and happiness to everyone facing dementia as well as for palliative care, rehabilitation, and those with learning disabilities. Working collaboratively is extremely important to us to grow the impact of Social-Ability, and we are honoured to be working alongside such a creative and experienced innovation team. We’re so excited to see the results of the project – in 2024, nobody living with dementia should be without laughter or activity.”

Simon Lord, head of innovation at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “As we announce our partnership with Social-Ability, we're excited to combine our trusted expertise in dementia and physical activity with the proven efficacy of the Happiness Programme, supported by funding from Sport England. Keeping active is hugely important for people with dementia and has a range of benefits such as improved quality of life. This partnership underscores our commitment to evidence-based practices, and we look forward to seeing the results of the new meaningful activities and the potential improved outcomes for people living with dementia.”

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