Wayfinding Increases Independence – Why is this important
Care homes and hospitals are often especially difficult for wayfinding, with long, non-distinctive hallways, poor signage and a multitude of different routes. This can cause anxiety, distress, and ultimately a decrease in independence and confidence for individuals living with dementia.
Ideally, wayfinding should be a main part of the design of any new care facility, but if the facility is already built, then some simple wayfinding interventions can transform the environment into a dementia-friendly space with the potential to improve quality of life, independence and the well-being of your residents and patients.
Wayfinding Increases Independence – What we recommend
Living with dementia means coping with a range of life changing obstacles. Here are just some of our recommendations that have proven to help our clients improve the independence and quality of life of their patients/residents, as well as their compliance.
#Tip1: Use signs with pictures and words that are a different colour from the background. This makes key places such as toilets and dining rooms easy to see and navigate to.
#Tip2: Place signs centred between 1.2 and 1.4m from the floor as many older people may have a stoop, perhaps due to curvature of the spine which in turn would cause a more downward stare.
#Tip3: Use bright contrasting colours
#Tip4: Personalise the entrance to bedrooms to make them more recognisable and relevant to the individual
#Tip5: Create landmarks such as murals and interactive furniture that can act as unique reference points for improved orientation.
At Find, we have made it our business to understand the symptoms of dementia and the challenges that can arise. By putting the person at the heart of everything we do, we have worked with many care homes and hospitals across the country to not only enhance their environments, but create bespoke signage and range of products that are making a real-difference to people’s lives.
We understand it can be difficult to know where to start and how to implement environmental changes. That is why we offer a FREE no obligation environmental audit, which will provide you with all the recommendations you need to make a difference.