Sep 28

‘More Places Should Apply Design Guidelines For Dementia’

Matthew

It’s important that more of our homes and public spaces are designed to help those with dementia enjoy them and live fulfilled lives.

That’s the opinion of Paola Barbarino, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), who recently told the New Straits Times that dementia designs need to be implemented in the built environment all over the world.

“We need to apply design guidelines and principles for people living with dementia in the same way as design guidelines are provided for people living with physical disability,” Ms Barbarino asserted.

The ADI recently published the world’s most comprehensive report into dementia-related design, with a wide variety of suggestions included, many of which don’t cost a lot of money. The report focuses on simple steps, such as removing hazards, improving wayfinding and reducing stimulation to help reduce anxiety and agitation in those suffering from dementia.

Simply adapted bathrooms are one of the recommendations in the report, along with dementia-friendly outdoor gardens and using traditional cupboard handles in kitchens.

Introducing walk in baths to the bathroom could also be another way to help someone with dementia cope better in their own home.

There is certainly good reason to focus on dementia-friendly design here in the UK, with the Alzheimer’s Society estimating that there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK currently, while that figure is expected to climb to 1.6 million by 2040.

The ADI report also set out a range of principles to follow in relation to dementia-friendly design, which include unobtrusively removing risks and supporting movement and engagement.

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