The sense of smell has enormous power to awaken memories, so bringing this charm into nursing facilities can awaken memories in patients with dementia of the familiar scent of their former homes. The product is a good-luck charm that carries the scent of a patient’s former home, so that the scent can be brought to that patient in the nursing home. A patient may remember family from this experience, which can alleviate some of the family’s stress; conversation can then increase and present an opportunity for communication between patient and family. The family’s Japanese coat of arms is carved into the front of the charm. This was a personal project.
How I thought of this solution: Dementia patients have not lost their truly important memories with their family. When I visited nursing facilities I was struck by how elderly patients repeatedly spoke of certain memories with their families.

  • Role Personal Project
  • For The client is Nursing home in Tokyo
  • Type Social Design and Product Design


Problem: Currently Japan has many elderly people who can not receive social security service. Their average annual amount is 50,000 yen per month. They can not live without support from my family. As a result, many elderly people who didn’t get married driB to urban areas aBer aging. This society is like a disaster. Nevertheless, the government pays a lot of welfare expenses to poor foreigners. Because the administraHon is not funcHoning well, people to be supported are not supported from Japanese government. Therefore, the stress of Japanese ciHzens is increasing year by year. Every Japanese ciHzens are all poor, couples who can not give birth are increasing. The problem of Japan’s low birthrate and aging populaHon is becoming serious now. As a result, the level of educaHon level is also declining as the whole country is poor. I am worried that Japan will not be an economically advanced country in the long run.

Solution: Increase the amount of social security to Japanese couple to make a lot of children. Although it is ineffecHve from a short-term perspecHve, it is the most effecHve way to enrich country from a long-term perspecHve. Also, strict crackdown on welfare support for poor foreigners. Therefore, it will reduce the number of foreigners who are going give welfare from Japanese government to live from neighboring countries such as China, Korea, Russia and the Philippines. As a result, the public’s stress that Japanese taxes are not evenly distributed will be reduced. Also, medical expenses currently invested by the Japanese government will be temporarily raised. As a result, the awareness of disease prevenHon for the enHre people increases and the body becomes healthy. (Old people is going to hospitals almost every day, but they do not have to pay for medical expenses, because taxes are invested in health care costs for the elderly.

Concept – Problem and Solution

Problem discovered in research: “Dementia patients have little communication”
Field research and interviews were conducted in a nursing facility in Japan. What we found is that patients with dementia in nursing homes by-and-large do not engage in conversations. Advanced patients, early patients, and staff do not have much conversation, so the nursing home is usually very quiet. The staff told us that if patients do not engage in conversation, the symptoms will worsen more quickly. Also, we learned that family visits to the institutions were infrequent. This is apparently because when admitting a loved one into a nursing home, feelings of guilt swell up leading to a decrease in future visits.

Solution Idea: Product for a good luck charm that holds the scent of one’s home so that one can bring that scent to patients in nursing homes. The sense of smell has power to awaken memories, so if you bring this charm into a nursing facility, patients with dementia can awaken memories of the smell of their own house. The patient may remember their family from this, which will alleviate some of the family’s stress; conversation can then increase and present an opportunity for communication between the patient and their family. The Japanese family’s coat of arms is carved into the front of the charm. The planning and research for this project was conducted in a team of four people; I was responsible for the product design and the idea.

Idea Summary:
1)Using an omamori, smell the scent of one’s own home
2)Remember your family by smelling the scent
3)The act of recollecting will create more conversation with family members and between themselves

Output – Product Design