Finding our way around new surroundings is nothing unusual for most of us. It is something we do not give a second thought to. We notice the difference between different rooms and corridors. We use signage to get from A to B and back again. For people living with dementia, impaired memory, disorientation, and difficulty processing information make familiar surroundings confusing and hard to navigate.
You may think dementia signage has been around for a long time and, that it has been implemented in all care facilities across the UK. Sadly, this is not the case, and there are still a lot of facilities out there that have the wrong type of signage.
Find Memory Care, the creator of the original and most widely used dementia-specific signage in the world, has helped many care facilities across the UK, by using the latest thinking on communication. Find’s signage will help to reduce confusion and aid daily orientation for people living with dementia.
Dementia Signage Checklist
To help you check if your facility has the right signage, Find has produced a FREE checklist to ensure your signage is dementia-friendly:
Are my signs dementia-friendly?
- Place signs at key decision points for someone who is at the building/area for the first time?
- Do exiting doors from rooms feature ‘way out’ signage?
- Fix signs to the doors they refer to? They should not be on adjacent surfaces if possible?
- Are bedrooms easily identifiable by personalised signage?
- Is the toilet signage highly distinguishable?
- Are glass doors clearly marked?
- Are your signs legible to all and do they have pictures and words that are a different colour from their background?
- Are signs mounted correctly centred between 1.2 and 1.4m from the floor?
- Are signs durable and easy to clean?
- Fire-safe – Are your signs tested to Class 1 or Class 0 or their equivalent. The use of laminated paper on walls is a fire risk and will allow any fire to spread more quickly.
Have you had a good look round? Have you thought about creating landmarks? Research shows that people with dementia use “landmarks” to navigate their way around. The more attractive and interesting the landmark (such as a mural) the easier it is to use it as a landmark.
Good signage does not only aid the person with dementia but also decreases the dependency on staff, freeing up time for staff to help in other areas.
If you would like to find out more about our signage range, please contact us here.