The first step in creating a dementia friendly care home is to have a vision of what you want to achieve. Think about areas of the home that currently increase agitation or are unused. Consider your residents beliefs and cultures. What works well? Is the environment considerate for both men and women?
Design features, such as similar doors along a corridor, lack of focal points and poorly planned signage can all result in a poor environment. By taking into consideration the principles below and using multiple well-planned way-finding techniques ultimately incontinence, agitation, aggression, slips, trips, and falls can all be reduced.
How to create a dementia-friendly care home
Creating a dementia-friendly communal area
Signage is one of the easiest ways to create a dementia friendly care home. Good dementia signage will use pictures and words however signs should be contrast to the door/wall on which they are placed. Find signage is robust and hardwearing with secure, hidden fittings.
Preventing residents from using exit doors: Interventions such as the use of window vinyl on glass doors to block the view but still allow in light can help reduce the cues for exiting. Finds vinyl’s are fire rated and laminated for protection.
Use landmarks to create a dementia-friendly care home
Using wall murals to create different spaces with appropriate furniture and interactive activities can help create a dementia-friendly care home.
Research has shown that using aids such as wall murals to create stimulating areas of activity. When used correctly as part of residents’ routine, Murals encourage social interaction and engagement, which in turn promotes better sleep patterns and eating habits.
Make toilet and bathroom areas easily identifiable and safe to use.
Making toilets easily identifiable is a major part of creating a dementia friendly care home.
For someone with dementia being able to locate the toilet is a priority. When faced with a corridor of identical doors, their anxiety levels can increase significantly. Signage is required, however a coloured door or door frame can add to the strategy and work very well.
Ensure the use of suitable bathroom fixtures and fittings. Where possible, the wall and floor should be in contrasting colours. Use coloured grab rails, surround frames and raised toilet seats to help adapt your existing bathroom area. This will minimise falls and increase independence.
Make it easy for residents to find their bedroom.
Use distinguishing colours (not the same as the toilet doors) and room numbers to make bedroom doors unique. Combine this with personal photos and memorabilia in a memory box or an interchangeable bedroom sign. This will help residents distinguish their room from that of another. Finds range of Door Cals are self adhesive, waterproof, chemical resistant made from hard wearing anti-scuff laminate.
Make the dining area all about food and drink.
Using coloured, well-designed will reduce spillage removing any embarrassment of making enable them to see food much easier and therefore encourage them to eat more. Finds unbreakable dining range has been specifically designed in a hardwearing material with a large base and lipped rim
Orientation to time
Many people with dementia find it difficult to keep a check on date and time, so clocks with day/night option or even day and date can really help. The orientation board is ideal for a care home as it includes lots of important information.
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Whilst a good dementia-friendly environment needs to keep residents safe, there is also a need to create the right amount and type of stimulation to suit everyone. If you need further help, please contact our environmental specialist to organise a free no obligation environmental visit.