Website of The Care Home Environment Magazine

Why seeing as others see is key to designing for dementia

Mark Johnstone, UK, Middle East and Ireland head of commercial at care home outfitters Altro, looks at some of the finer points of designing for residents with dementia.

With ever-growing numbers of people affected by dementia, there is expanding evidence showing the impact of the physical environment on their wellbeing. While legislation sets out design principles; in reality, seeing as others see and designing with empathy are key to effective design.

With the introduction of legislation and expert guidance for designing for dementia over the past few years, care homes and healthcare environments are becoming more aware and applying best practice principles more often – after all, 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems so this is extremely relevant for them.

However, when you consider that two thirds of people with dementia live in the community and not in care homes, it is clear that better understanding of these issues throughout the whole design sector is needed to change the way people with dementia are engaged with in the environments they live.

For many years, Altro has

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