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Not all “Dementia Murals” Work

Are all Murals Dementia friendly?

For many years there has been mixed feelings on the use of murals in dementia care settings, as some people feel they create false realities. As a provider of dementia murals, you may be surprised that we do not totally disagree with this statement.

We provide dementia murals to care homes and hospitals across the UK and are often taken by surprise at the number of murals bought online or supplied by supposedly “dementia mural specialists” that have no place in a care setting.  

For example, could you imagine waking up to see a huge bus heading towards you or a picture of a door that you can’t open, a picture of a letter box where you can’t post a letter or 3D elements that you can’t use. Using murals in a dementia environment incorrectly can lead to confusion and agitation.

Using the wrong mural can cause confusion and agitation.

Find Memory Care we are extremely careful with the designs of our collections of dementia murals and while we’re not medical professionals all our decisions are made from years of experience and anecdotal evidence.

So where do you start when choosing dementia murals for your care facility?

Firstly, if something does not add value, do not put it on the wall. As well as taking the focus away from items that should be adding value. A typical example of poor design would be corridors full of framed pictures that are too high and are behind reflective glass. These will not work as an orientation aid, nor will they work for reminiscence reasons. They quite simply fill a space, so our advice would be to take them down!

Secondly, avoiding false realities that can cause distress is important. A feature of our dementia murals is that we do not include images of doors. We will never include a 3D step as this would be a trip hazard and we always include a low wall or railings to function as a barrier on scenic murals.

Thirdly, dementia murals are about so much more than just the design. Each mural should include actual furniture for optimum benefit and most importantly, be incorporated into daily activities. A good environment will encourage exercise and social interaction and should offer a range of opportunities and choices.

And remember a mural should be used as a destination point – somewhere a person can go and enjoy an experience. They are away of offering choice, keeping minds active, adding appropriate levels of stimulation, and quite simply giving individual’s options and the opportunity to engage in ways previously unavailable.

To recap dementia murals are used:

  • as an orientation aid
  • to create choices of defined areas where a person can spend time and enjoy activities.

We understand sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Request a free dementia visit, were we can discuss with you your current challenges and project plans. Simply complete the form here and we will get back to you to discuss a suitable date

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