Service design, innovative services to help older adults live independently for longer, Rodd Design

Developing a new service model and identifying lifestyle changes

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that over the last 25 years the percentage of the UK population aged 65 and over has increased from 15% in 1985 to 17% in 2010, an increase of 1.7 million residents. The ONS forecasts that by 2035 some 23% of the population will be aged 65 and over. A major area of concern is poor nutrition amongst some older adults. Good nutrition is essential to maintaining health. Poor diet and malnutrition can lead to hospital admissions, increased hospital stays and residential care. The challenge was to help older adults to live independently for longer.

Meet 2 Eat Rodd Design

Rodd Design and VISION Culture, a Community Interest Company and project partners Age UK were commissioned by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) and the Design Council under the Independence Matters – Home and Away programme. The project involved carrying out user research and co-creating service concepts which help to address the ‘nutritional challenges’ facing older adults. Working closely with Rodd Design as a central member of their research and design team, we helped to manage the user research process. User research and co-creation workshops were held in Gloucester, Portsmouth and London. This helped to identify issues and challenges which older adults face around food and nutrition. These include social isolation, cooking for one, portion size, packaging and budgeting.

Through an in-depth analysis workshop involving the wider project team, the data was analysed to identify underlying themes and need states of different participants. From this personas and segmentation models based upon a number of different participant characteristics were developed. The analysis sessions fed into developing and assessing a number of service concepts based upon the needs of participants. The project has been awarded £100,000 to develop the new Meet2Eat service and the project has been mentioned in Design Week.

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