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Dementia friendly environments

Dementia friendly environments

When a person is trying to make sense of the world around them, their immediate surroundings can make all the difference to their quality of life.

We work with some of the leaders in the architectural and design industries to create home environments that enable people who are living with dementia to find their way around independently. We also have a design team whose job it is to ensure that there are similarities of approach to design across all our homes and that we’re meeting the necessary standards.

We use this background to create supportive and enabling environments that preserve each resident’s sense of identity in a way that feels right for them. This may involve personalising a room or filling a memory box, whatever it takes to make the move to a new home as smooth as possible for residents and their loved ones. 

Our homes offer a range of dementia-friendly features to support people with visual, hearing and mobility impairments associated with dementia, including:

Furnishings

Dementia can impact a person’s vision so that patterns on fabrics and curtains can appear distorted, or the edges of tables and chairs can become blurred. 

Many of our homes will have;

  • furniture in a contrasting colour to the carpet
  • wardrobes and chests of drawers with easy to use openings
  • warm tones used on walls are easier to see
  • matt surfaces and slip resistant flooring; avoiding patterns, speckles or sparkles that can be confusing

Navigation

People living with dementia can easily become intimidated by their surroundings so we are mindful of using;

  • clear signs (using pictures and words) enable residents to move around confidently
  • memory boxes for residents to fill with personal items for reminiscence and to help navigate them to their room
  • higher than normal lighting levels and enhanced use of natural daylight
  • fixtures and fittings that create links to the past, from black and white photographs of the local area in bygone days to vintage-style radios and gramophones

Clever design at Cairdean House

One of our ground-breaking care homes in Scotland, Cairdean House, has been designed by expert designer Richard Pollock. The home has been set out as self-contained flats with their own kitchens, which is very suitable for people living with dementia. The landscaped gardens at the home have been designed by Richard’s wife Annie, who has created functional, beautiful and homely gardens. The home also has vintage-inspired rooms and fittings, as well as a reminiscence room to help evoke residents’ memories of times gone by.

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