Poorly designed hospital environments that are hard to navigate can affect large numbers of people including patients, their family members, and put unnecessary work on the hospital staff who care for them.
Also, for a person with dementia, the hospital experience can be exacerbated by cognitive impairment and behavioural or psychological symptoms, and can, therefore, prove to be an even more frightening, distressing, and disorientating place.
By creating a calm, people-centered, orientating and legible setting that is accessible, usable, and easily understood, you will create a more supportive environment for all users.
Plus, implementing some of the simple changes below several benefits can be achieved such as 50% reduction in incontinence, a 60% reduction in agitation and aggression, and a 70% reduction in slips, trips and falls.
Doors are crucial for way-finding. Staff-only doors should be the same colour as the wall, while doors that the patient is expected to find, and use should contrast with walls. All toilet doors should be a consistent, bright, contrasting colour. Find out more
Signs should be consistent throughout, mounted no more than 1.2m high, clearly contrast with the wall or door, using capital and lower-case letters and include a graphic. Find out more
Clocks should be large and clear analogue clocks visible from every bed. Find out more
Toilet seats and handrails including raised-level toilet seats should contrast with walls and floor. Find out more
Mirrors can cause problems for patients who no longer recognise their image. They may wonder, “Who is the strange person looking puzzled at me through this window?” Use reversible mirrors when possible. Find out more
A day room for additional activities. By creating setting such as a café, you can create a less sterile environment for patients and relatives to sit, eat and chat. Look at Bolton Hospitals case study for more information. Find out more
At find, we have made it our business to understand the symptoms of dementia and the problems that can arise. We know that a person with dementia is at an increased risk of falls, agitation, incontinence and dehydration and have created a range of dementia products to help. We have also worked with hospitals across the UK to create environments that aid independence and well-being.