Designing for Dementia: Creating the Perfect Environment

There are steps that caretakers and hospitals can take to make the care environment more appealing to people with dementia. Along with appropriate patient care from people who understand their condition, patients with Dementia can also benefit from access to certain design factors that make them feel protected and relaxed.

Building a Suitable Environment for Patients

The Virtual Information Centre for Dementia design has a complete guide to designing hospitals. This interactive web tool helps people in the modern development environment to understand the additional considerations that need to be considered when designing for people with dementia. For instance, seniors with dementia might need additional space in their rooms where they can keep familiar pictures and belongings that help them to feel comfortable when they’re in a new environment.

At the same time, designers will need to think carefully about the tools that they can use to make life safer for a patient who won’t always be aware or familiar with their surroundings. According to the Alzheimer’s WA group, the principles of designing dementia enabling environments include:

  • Finding ways to reduce risks without being obtrusive
  • Allowing people to see and be seen in their hospital rooms
  • Managing levels of stimulation to encourage relaxation
  • Supporting movement and engagement
  • Creating a familiar and comforting space
  • Providing a place to be with others and be alone

Investing In Tools for Better Care

The good news for designers in the healthcare environment is that there are a lot of new innovations emerging in the marketplace. Tools like fall detection sensors and intelligent beacons can make it easier to track the movement of a senior with dementia, offering them safety without being obtrusive or overbearing. The Elsi Smart Floor Monitoring system, for instance, is an intelligent flooring solution that can reduce falls and support patient safety, without getting in the way of comfort or familiarity.

An intelligent floor like the Elsi Smart Floor looks just like any other standard floor that a patient would already be familiar with. In fact, the floor can go underneath your standard flooring for a more comforting overall room appearance.

However, unlike typical floors, the Elsi Smart Floor can use a series of notifications to ensure that nurses and care providers can keep track of their patients and keep fall risks to a minimum. The Elsi Smart Floor offers safety and risk prevention, without compromising on privacy and comfort. It’s this kind of technology that’s leading the way in designing for dementia, both in hospital environments and other care facilities across Australia.