Extraordinary People

Colourful sweets help people with dementia in heart-warming way

Art student was inspired by his nan

A real-life Willy Wonka has masterminded a sweetie to help people with dementia.

Enter the magical world of Jelly Drops!

Packed with 95% water and created in eye-catching colours, the irresistible sweeties are designed to tempt people who may forget to drink during the day so they can boost fluid intake.

[Credit: Jelly Drops]

Pretty neat, huh?! It’s all thanks to Lewis Hornby, an art student who invented the sweets.

Speaking about his innovation, Lewis said he came up with the idea after his late grandma Pat, who had dementia, was struggling to hydrate.

Lewis said: “I went to live in her care home for a month to see if I could help, I realised whilst she struggled to drink, she still loved treats, and so did everybody else.

“In an environment where there are a lot of medical devices, I wanted Jelly Drops to be stigma-free. Something that could be shared by all and bring people together.”

[Credit: Jelly Drops]

And so, Lewis began working on a prototype. Then when clips of Pat eating her drops went viral (over 100million views), he discovered that Jelly Drops could benefit so many more.

Determined to make them as accessible as possible, he gathered a small team and spent the next 18 months developing the concept.

The bitesize treats are made with gelling agents and electrolytes to enhance hydration, with an easy-to-pick-up shape for people with weak grips and limited vision.

After Lewis came up with the product, The Alzheimer’s Society recognised the potential and supported his journey, with the team now gifting a percentage of their profits to the charity.

[Credit: Lewis Hornby]

There are a variety of reasons why people with dementia stop drinking, from no longer feeling thirst to not equating drinking with quenching thirst.

Lewis added: “Early tests with my grandmother proved very successful. When first offered, she ate seven Jelly Drops in 10 minutes – the equivalent to a cup full of water, something that would usually take hours and require much more assistance.

“Eating the whole box would account for around half the necessary daily fluid intake.”

He concluded: “Dehydration reduces the quality of life for many with dementia, and left unchecked it can be fatal.

“We aim to tackle this by providing a source of hydration that people can engage with, increasing independence, and improving social interactions between carers and residents.”

The perfect Christmas present for an elderly relative!

To grab a box, click here: Jelly Drops.

[Credit: Jelly Drops]

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