It’s been a super busy few weeks for the Unforgettable team. We’ve had some exciting developments, amazing feedback from customers – and we’ve moved offices!

We’ve needed a bigger office for quite some time and a few days before Christmas we finally found it! Our lovely new workplace in Central London (above the historical Smithfield Market) isn’t only more spacious than the last one, it’s also perfectly located. Why? Because we’ve joined an innovative hub for start-ups like ours who are focused on ageing. Being part of the AgeTech & Longevity Hub means that we’re working with other like-minded businesses in this fast-developing sector. Frankly, it’s also great to be part of something very new and exciting.

We’ve only been here four weeks, but we’re settling in nicely and loving the fact that it’s a dog and cat friendly workspace. We have fallen for some very cute four-legged co-workers, including Princess the office cat and our very own cockapoo Oatie who works alongside his owner Charlie in the Unforgettable customer service team (We’re thinking about giving him his own desk).

We’re delighted to say that the New Year got off to a great start for Unforgettable. We had a great response to our customer survey – more than 600 people have volunteered to take part. There’s still time to join them if you want to, it should only take around ten minutes to complete. Go here

We’ve also had some excellent feedback and reviews from happy customers. The Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio received several five-star reviews from customers who bought it for loved one’s with dementia. But we were also delighted to discover many other people found it beneficial too, including those with sight loss and other disabilities. One very touching review came from a father who bought it for his 24-year-old son who has a condition called Angelman Syndrome (a genetic disorder that can cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities). He needed something simple but robust and declared our music player “an instant success.”

The new Unforgettable Life Story book continues to get superb reviews too, with customers saying how much enjoyment it’s bringing the whole family!

The last few weeks have been a busy time for Adam. As head of new product innovation, he kick-started some research with the University of Surrey into whether sentimental sounds, such as nature sounds, city sounds, radio broadcasts etc are effective for reminiscence therapy. He’s also been investigating some new emerging technologies, looking at whether products such as smart home technology and voice assistants can help people with dementia – and how Unforgettable might get involved. Adam also had a great time meeting the team at T3 Ping Pong to discuss how we can help with the great work they’ve been doing to bring their more relaxed style of table tennis to care homes.

The Unforgettable product range is also expanding. We’re very pleased to announce that within the next couple of weeks we will be selling the best robotic cat on the market. Hasbro’s Joy for All orange tabby looks and feels like a real cat (we’ve already tested it out ourselves!) and has built in sensors that respond to motion and touch. We’re sure it’s going to be extremely popular with cat lovers…

We’re also working on a new innovation section to our store, so we can bring you all the latest helpful technologies. Watch this space.

There has been a big response to the advice articles on continuing healthcare funding following the BBC broadcast of the drama ‘Care’ in December starring Sheridan Smith and Alison Steadman. The programme documents a daughter’s struggle to find suitable care provision, and funding, for her mother, who becomes severely disabled by a stroke.

Many people have contacted us asking how to access NHS funding and Barbara has been busy answering questions about the assessment and decision-making process. There is document on the government website about NHS funding for care.

Barbara will be sharing some of the common questions people have been asking in the next newsletter.

We are working with some specialist companies that can offer advice and help with appeals. There are legal precedents where families have been awarded retrospective payments on appeal, even (in some cases) after the person with care needs has died. If you feel that you have grounds for appeal, please do get in touch askbarbara@unforgettable.org

On a different subject, Barbara also received a large response from her blog last year about public toilets. She is planning to write again on this subject, sharing some of the observations and experiences that have been shared with her. Barbara is particularly keen to hear from people who use men’s toilets: any insights and feedback about the dementia-friendliness, or otherwise, of public toilets used by men, would help to inform her next piece on this topic.