Design and environment

This page provides links to a number of useful resources relating to the design of the environment and technologies to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society’s guide to the dementia care environment

The Alzheimer's Society produces The Alzheimer's Society's guide to the dementia care environment which provides 'instrumental guidance and advice on how care home providers can improve the quality of life and care for people with dementia by following simple design rules and principles'.

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Guidance to Activity in Dementia Care

Guidance to Activity in Dementia Care is a checklist tool designed to help people with dementia continue to participate in enjoyable activity. It identifies the interacting factors in the individual person, their social support and their physical environment that need to be considered to enable activities to happen.

The tool is derived from extensive consultation with people with dementia and their carers about the activities they enjoy or would like to enjoy. It was produced as an outcome of INDEPENDENT, a research project funded by EPSRC in the EQUAL 4 Programme, which investigated the use of technology to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia. The project team was multi-disciplinary including sociology, mechanical engineering, architecture, Dementia Voice, housing and care providers and an industrial partner.

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Design and dementia

The Dementia Services Development Centre (University of Stirling) produces a number of publications on design for people with dementia and also runs a consultancy service providing design guidance for various stages of projects.

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Design audit tool and certificate

Stirling DSDC's design audit tool contains a series of resources for carrying out a self-assessment of environments that are used by people with dementia. It is suitable for refurbishment projects or new buildings and is relevant across a range of settings including day centres, wards, care homes and medical centres.

Stirling DSDC has also launched a new service to independently assess how well designed your care setting is for people with dementia. A team of trained auditors will visit the building and carry out a detailed audit of all areas used by people with dementia. They will then produce an in-depth report and provide a rating for your building. You will be awarded a certificate confirming the level you have achieved.

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Making your home a better place to live with dementia

Making your home a better place to live with dementia is a guide by Care & Repair England and Silverlinks. Their guides enable older people with long term health conditions and their carers think through the housing implications of the health condition and make plans accordingly, particularly with regard to future housing needs.

Each guide advises on what people can do to their home to make living with these conditions more manageable. They also describe the range of alternative housing options and offers suggestions about where to find more detailed information, advice and help.

Also, you can find a useful Home Safety Checklist for Wheelchair Users on the RS Components website.

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Rempods are literally pop up reminiscence rooms and work by turning any care space into a therapeutic & calming environment. No need for decoration. Simply pop up or down, when needed.

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