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Creating the perfect dementia environment

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Catherine Hawcroft, dementia specialist and designer at Knightsbridge Furniture, discusses her top tips when creating the perfect environment for people living with the condition.

 

Design of environment – Dementia doesn’t just affect memory; it also has an impact on sensory impairment. With this in mind, the entire environment needs to be considered. A patterned surface for example, can look like dirt to someone with dementia and they will try to clean it, causing frustration and upset. Colours can also play a significant part in helping people with the condition feel more in control. Dementia sufferers need visual perimeters.  If a scheme had a white door against a white wall it would be quite difficult for someone with dementia to recognise the door as an exit.

 

Furniture – Furniture needs to ensure the full safety of people living with dementia. Easy-to-grip arms, skids on dining chairs and sturdy arms and backs are good options, making residents feel safe, more comfortable and will give them a greater sense of independence.

Creating the perfect dementia environment

Catherine Hawcroft, dementia specialist and designer at Knightsbridge Furniture, discusses her top tips when creating the perfect environment for people living with the condition.

Design of environment – Dementia doesn’t just affect memory; it also has an impact on sensory impairment. With this in mind, the entire environment needs to be considered. A patterned surface for example, can look like dirt to someone with dementia and they will try to clean it, causing frustration and upset. Colours can also play a significant part in helping people with the condition feel more in control. Dementia sufferers need visual perimeters.  If a scheme had a white door against a white wall it would be quite difficult for someone with dementia to recognise the door as an exit. Key features for interior and furniture designs are contrasting colours and textures; they will designate boundaries and in turn offer residents reassurance.

Furniture – Furniture needs to ensure the full safety of people living with dementia. Easy-to-grip arms, skids on dining chairs and sturdy arms and backs are good options, making residents feel safe, more comfortable and will give them a greater sense of independence.

Furniture can play an important role in making life as easy as possible in a somewhat confusing world for residents living with the condition; wardrobes with clear doors for example, will make it visible where their clothes are.

Social interaction – For a number of years Knightsbridge Furniture has worked with care home providers to give those living with dementia the correct environment to live in. We have also been responsible for a number of successful schemes, including features such as libraries, hairdressers and even a bus stop, that have helped to stimulate communication and help people to rekindle old memories.

For more information visit http://www.knightsbridge-furniture.co.uk

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