Friday, July 22, 2022

5 Top Tips for Dementia Care Designs

We are all well aware that the UK is aging and aging quickly. With This those developing dementia will increase.

Therefore, designing for dementia has always been important, but demand for dementia friendly care provision is only going to increase exponentially.

The Alzheimer’s Society predicts that by 2051 over 2 million people will be living with dementia.

Over the years we have seen how dementia care has evolved and how this has impacted on care home design. It is also worth remembering that those with dementia are often living with other ailments.

Our expert team have put together some top tips on how best to design care homes and furniture with dementia in mind.

1)      Know and understand dementia


The first thing anyone should do before welcoming any new resident is to fully understand the conditions that they are living with. This can help you asses their wellbeing and how they will interact with your care home.


Dementia is a disease that inhibits our cognitive reasoning leading to confusion. For example, a dark carpet on a floor could be misinterpreted as a hole or a step.


This disorientation can lead to distress. So considering these potential hazards when designing care spaces is essential.


2)      Prioritise

You should prioritise what needs to be most visible to the resident. For example, signs, doors and hand rails need to be more prominent than a bin as this could cause more confusion.


This is where distinct colour differentiation comes in. By having contrasting colours next to each other you ensure that these are more noticeable and stand out. A dark sign on a dark door will simply be ignored by the resident.


This idea also helps dissuade residents from areas that shouldn’t be accessed such as staff and storage areas. Using distinct colours can help guide the resident to areas that they are comfortable with such as lounges or dining rooms.


We wrote a blog recently about the importance of corridors in wayfinding for residents, you should also think about hand rails in these areas to give your residents more confidence to move about.



3)      Memory therapy and help

Reminiscence therapy helps patients communicate both with other dementia residents and with care workers. Because generally just affects short term memory, reminiscence therapy permits long term memory recall. it also helps care workers see past the disease and really get to know residents, you can reminiscence theory can be tailored for each resident as it is individual to everyone.


The thoughtful use of images on interior walls and doors is one design trend that lends itself particularly well to reminiscence therapy and appears to have had great benefits in both dementia care and mental health contexts. With improvements in printing technology, this imagery is not limited to signage; it can now be printed on nearly anything. Some walls incorporate local landscapes, such woodlands or sea vistas, as well as historic pictures of the neighbourhood, transporting residents to a location or era they are familiar with and promoting nostalgia.


Numerous studies have demonstrated that imagery can work as a helpful distraction for patients, with natural aspects proving particularly useful at lowering stress and fostering wellness.


4)      Design for the future

Given that many patients use wheelchairs or walking assistance, it's crucial that the floor and wall finishes continue to look nice without being overly clinical.


Impact-resistant wall protection sheet and panel systems offer a practical and affordable method to build a lasting and welcome space. They're also simple to clean and strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear.


To lessen the institutional sense of a space, these goods come in a variety of colours and finishes. Some even have artwork or images on them, turning an image into a protective surface.


5)      Wayfinding


Residents with dementia frequently have the desire to wander around, but they regularly lose track of where they are going or how to get home.


In recent years, dementia facilities have increasingly been built to encourage "wandering with purpose," giving individuals a goal or place to concentrate on. For instance, to provide inhabitants with somewhere to walk, a community area could be set up at the end of a hallway.


A library set up toward the end of a hallway or fascinating images has occasionally been added to encourage residents to walk around on their own.


To conclude


The demand for residences that offer both independent living and residential care is certain to rise with the anticipated increase in dementia sufferers. These institutions must make older people feel comfortable and safe while meeting their diverse care needs. This necessitates careful interior finish selection and thoughtful interior design.


Thankfully, a variety of high-performance solutions are available on the market that may be used to design warm, cosy, and stress-free spaces without sacrificing cleanliness or resident safety, and that can lower maintenance and whole-life expenses.

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