The importance of a dementia-friendly environment in Care Homes

Imagine being in an environment where every door looks the same. Where everyday tasks such as finding the bedroom, going to the toilet and getting washed turns into a stressful situation.  Imagine sitting in the same chair in the same room doing the same activities day in day out.

A bland, boring and repetitive environment within a care home is not only stressful for residents living with dementia, but it can also put a strain on operational costs.

With many care homes feeling the strain as budgets tighten, implementing environmental changes into the care environment is sometimes hard to keep at the top of the agenda.

However, with 850,000 people in the UK diagnosed with dementia and 60% of those receiving care, having a dementia-friendly environment must start to play a significant role in the care and treatment of residents.

100’s of care homes throughout the UK have implemented environmental changes to their facilities but there are still 1000’s out there yet to see the benefits. It has been proven that by creating a dementia-friendly environment a number of positive outcomes can be achieved. The impact of these outcomes is increased mobility, fewer violent incidents and greater independence for residents. We have also seen a rise in staff morale which in turn has contributed to fewer absences and better attrition.

But don’t worry! Creating a dementia-friendly environment does not mean tearing down walls and large redesign costs. By implementing some simple well-thought-out changes, an environment that enhances the quality of life can be easily achieved.

A good dementia-friendly environment is all about keeping the residents safe and having the right amount of stimulation and aids to allow the residents the freedom to engage in everyday tasks and activities. It is therefore essential when looking at ways to improve the environment we do not concentrate on cost alone but the advantages that creating the right environment can have for both residents and staff.

(Resources Dementia statistics hub https://www.dementiastatistics.org/statistics/care-services/)