Student Invents Edible Water That Looks Like Candy To Help Dementia Patients Stay Hydrated

Life is a process and the older we get the harder it can be on our bodies. We like to do everything we can to live healthy lives but sometimes certain things happen without any reason. Worldwide we have over 50 million people who are suffering from dementia. There are nearly 10 million new cases every year. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-70% of the cases.

A man named Lewis Hornby is the grandson of a woman who is a part of that staggering number and he saw a problem that required a solution immediately. He wanted to help his grandmother who was suffering from dementia and he created something that could help so many of the 50 million people currently suffering from dementia.

Over 50 million people suffer from dementia and one of the biggest problems for them is dehydration. With severe memory problems, dehydration is very common because people simply forget to drink or find water.

Some cases of dementia result in people forgetting how to drink or swallow. This is what happened to Lewis Hornby’s grandmother and she was hospitalized for dehydration.

The worst part is that the symptoms of dementia mask the symptoms of dehydration compounding the issue. Patients have trouble communicating that they’re thirsty. Lewis came up with something after spending a week in a dementia care home and consulting with the staff and doctors.

He noticed that his grandmother and other patients had a sweet tooth and created a way to hide hydration into a treat. Bright little Jelly Drops containing 90% water and electrolytes.

They’re easy to use and look delicious. He tried them with his grandmother and they were an instant hit.

“When first offered, grandma ate seven Jelly drops in 10 minutes,” he said, “the equivalent to a cup full of water, something that would usually take hours and require much more assistance.”

The colorful “candies” are easy to use and engaging. They are a safe and easy way to avoid dehydration with dementia patients.

The Jelly Drops are still in a trial phase. They need to go through more testing but they are being noticed by some very influential organizations. He has earned two awards for the idea already as well.

Lewis was given the Helen Hamlyn Snowdon Award for Disability, and the DESIRE award for social impact from the Dyson School of Design Engineering.

The drops also scored the Meaning-Centered Design Award, and both the Audience and People’s Choice Award at the 2019 Pitch@Palace.

“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! This format excites people with dementia, they instantly recognize it and know how to interact with it,” – Lewis said.

The drops are still in the testing phase but the potential is enormous. These drops could provide nutrition, they could provide a lot of help for many different cases.

The Jelly Drops are a solution to something that affects millions of people. They can help during emergency situations as well. Lewis Hornby reacted to seeing his grandmother suffer and knew he had to create a solution. He did just that and it is going to help a lot of people in need.

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