Dementia-friendly environments in care homes
The care home environment has an immediate effect on the health and wellbeing of its residents. By creating dementia-friendly environments that maximise independence, enhances self-esteem and the confidence, of its residents, a number of benefits can be achieved.
The Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University, claims that “Getting design right can make a fundamental difference to the lives of people with dementia. It can improve the life experiences and increase the life expectancy of those affected by dementia”.
What makes a good environment?
Dementia-friendly environments that aid wayfinding: – Communal areas within a care home are the backbone of the home, and should be laid out to make it easy for residents to find their way around the building. It is essential that residents are able to locate their own private space.
Signage is the most common cue to aid way-finding.
Good dementia-friendly signage will use
- Pictures and words
- Bright colours
Dementia-friendly environments that aid orientation:- As well as looking at the layout of the home, having orientation cues that aid wayfinding can help residents understand where they are and enable them to navigate their way to where they want to be. An environment that makes it difficult for a resident to orientate will limit their ability to perform daily tasks. Colours and lighting play an important part in way-finding. The more light there is the easier residents will find it to orientate within the home.
Creating landmarks that act as uniquely identifiable reference points enhance positive stimulation. To do this use of wall murals, music and interactive furniture.
Dementia-friendly environments which encourage independence: – There are three aspects to toileting – finding the toilet, using the toilet and keeping safe. This can be done by using a high contrast colour to establish a route to the toilet.
Environments which encourage good nutrition:- Making the dining area as appealing to the senses as possible with familiar sounds, smells and food can help make eating an enjoyable social activity.
Is your care home dementia-friendly?
We understand it can be difficult to know where to start and how to implement environmental changes for the maximum benefit of all involved in the process that is why we offer a FREE Environmental Visit which will provide you with all the recommendations you need.
To find out more complete the form on the link below and one of our advisors will get back to you.