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Living Well Toolkit


Cognitive impairment that arises due to traumatic brain injury or disease means that patients need long-term clinical care across a variety of health care providers.

Through their healthcare journey, patients are constantly, verbally retelling their story. However, this process is difficult when battling symptoms such as memory loss and a short attention span.


The Living Well Toolkit aims to improve the quality of care for people living with long term cognitive impairment. The DHW Lab worked collaboratively with the Centre for Person Centred Research at AUT, to develop the toolkit using a mixed methods approach. Twenty five people living with cognitive impairment, their whanau and healthcare professionals participated in individual interviews and focus groups.  

The toolkit supports clinicians to better utilise their time to discuss the specific issues that affect individual patients, through building better patient-clinician relationships. It also helps translate important insights into better care provision, especially for people with other long-term health conditions.

The Living Well Toolkit is a ring-bound journal owned by the individual, documenting their experiences with different clinicians week by week and helping them to live well with cognitive impairment. Patients retain their toolkit and update it regularly on the physical artefact. Health professionals use an interactive instructional version, a printed reminder, and cue cards to promote use of the toolkit.

The toolkit is approachable, subtle and appealing for patients and clinicians. It can be refreshed with spare pages. The hand-drawn Illustrations paired with highly legible typography help establish a down-to-earth, positive tone. The design avoids feeling ‘medical’ in its aesthetic, and without becoming patronising, helps to create a common ground for the clinicians and patient.


Want to know more?

Come visit us at the DHW Lab inside the Auckland Hospital.