Dehydration is especially common amongst the elderly, especially those with dementia, as they often forget to drink. In fact, 37% of older people admitted to hospitals are acutely dehydrated.
Jelly Drops are tasty, sugar-free water sweets, made up of 95% water and electrolytes. They were developed by 26-year-old inventor, Lewis Hornby, in response to his late Grandma Pat’s struggle with dehydration due to dementia, for which she was admitted into the hospital. After gaining valuable insights from a month of living in his grandma’s care home, Lewis worked with doctors, dieticians and speech and language therapists to come up with the concept.
“The initial response to the product has been fantastic – we are very excited to supply the 50,000 people on our waiting list. We have seen a huge demand from both care homes and the families of people with dementia. It’s incredible to know that we can help those living with dementia and give comfort to their families and loved ones. It’s been heartwarming to hear the feedback from our first customers; they enjoy Jelly Drops as much as Grandma did.” – Lewis Hornby, Inventor of Jelly Drops
Jelly Drops is supported with a £100K R&D investment from the Alzheimer’s Society as part of its new Innovation Accelerator Program amongst other investors. In return, the company will donate 1% of its profits to the charity.
After 18 months of development and several months of beta testing during COVID-19, the product officially launches to the UK market today. During this phase, Jelly Drops has been working with a number of care homes across the UK to test the innovative product.
Apart from facilitating water intake for the care home residents, the product has given both care home staff and relatives peace of mind – especially within the pandemic, where family and friends have spent an extra 92 million hours caring for loved ones with dementia.
The teardrop-shaped sweets come in six natural fruity flavours. Each tray holds 24 Jelly Drops, which equates to a boost of 300ml of water. Flavours include strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, orange, lemon and lime. The unique shape was specially designed to make them easy to pick up, enabling the elderly and those with dementia to boost their water intake independently and with dignity. They can be snacked on throughout the day, promoting enjoyable social interactions between carers, family members and residents.
“Jelly Drops was one of the first innovations to be accepted into our Accelerator Programme, and we’ve been thrilled to support its journey to a widely-available product which is making a real difference to people with dementia. Original products and designs like Jelly Drops are key to helping overcome the everyday challenges faced by people with dementia, challenges that have been further amplified by the pandemic.” – Colin Capper, Head of Research Development from Alzheimer’s Society
It’s projected that by 2050, approximately two million people in the UK will be living with dementia, which can contribute to a reduced quality of life and even premature death. A recent report also suggests that dementia is a leading killer of the 21st century and currently £26B is spent a year to help those with dementia by the UK government.