We aim to develop dementia-friendly design schemes that improve quality of life for people with dementia by facilitating independence and providing opportunities for social engagement. A well-designed environment can help compensate for disorientation and reduce need for assistance, restoring dignity to patients and residents and giving peace of mind to their families.
Restoring dignity and reducing the need for assistance
Our dementia-friendly design expert and environmental psychologist, Rebecca, authored the Dementia Strategy for Bridgwater Community Hospital. This has now been adopted as a training tool by NHS Somerset. Rebecca also revised Wiltshire Council’s Extra Care Housing Brief to ensure their best-practice guidance was up-to-date.
We can provide advice on dementia-friendly design principles at all stages of a project. Whether new-build or refurbishment, we have substantial experience in the healthcare sector. We have also advised on accommodating the needs of older people in public buildings and have completed several schools designed for children and young people with cognitive impairment.
- Easy to navigate layout: use of colour to differentiate rooms and zones, clear signage, use of ‘landmarks’ to aid orientation
- En-suite facilities with line of sight between toilet and bed
- Reminiscence aids and social spaces arranged to encourage conversation
- Appropriate lighting and visual contrast with no confusing patterns
- Clutter-free circulation routes with handrails, and small resting areas to allow safe wandering
- Quality external spaces with circular routes, good lines of sight and opportunities for interaction with nature
Rebecca joined DKA in 2007 and has worked across all sectors, initially in a technical capacity and now leading our interiors team. This mix of technical and interiors experience has provided Rebecca with a well-balanced approach, with designs offering both creativity and practicality. She has a Masters in Environmental Psychology which developed her awareness of the impact design can have on people’s experience of the built environment. Rebecca is our expert in dementia-friendly design and believes that good design can help to empower all building users.