Making individual rooms more dementia friendly – whether they are in a care home or nursing home environment as well as in peoples own homes, can make a really big difference to dementia sufferers. Below is an example of a dementia suffers lounge and the key points in making it more user friendly;
- Watching fish is engaging and provides residents with a different focal point to the TV. However, access may need to be restricted to prevent overfeeding.
- To create a more domestic feeling to the room provide coving to the ceiling.
- Ensure TV can be seen easily by residents in the room, without being the main focal point of the room. TV remote controls should be easy to hold and have large, clear buttons. Where possible, provide an alternative quiet room with no TV.
- As a guide, colours of floor surfaces, walls, doors, skirtings, architraves and ceiling should be 30 LRV (light reflectance value) apart as this provides good visual contrast that helps with way-finding. Furthermore, try to avoid large patterned carpets and wallpapers.
- Ensure curtains and tracts extend further than the window reveal so that the curtains do not obstruct any light. Avoid large patterned curtain fabrics.
- Pelmets offer a traditional domestic feel to a room but care should be taken to ensure they do not overhang the window and reduce light.
- Handles should be easy to grip and contrasting to external door. Mount door handles at around 1m high.
- Windows with low sills greatly improves the view to external spaces. Make sure these windows are not obstructed externally by large bushes etc.
- Ensure the route is level and there is no alteration in light reflectance value (LFV) / colour between external paving and internal floor finishes.
- Use specific door colours when several rooms open into the same external space, this will help residents with way-finding. And, contrast the door colours with surrounding window frame colours as this will assist residents in locating the door within the glazing.
- Provide large window areas with high heads and low sills in order to maximise daylight and minimise the dependency on artificial light.
- Provide a range of furniture, for example chairs of different heights and depths, to accommodate the needs of different residents.
- Use blinds to protect residents against glare when necessary.
- Additional plug in table and / or floor lights provide increased lighting for specific tasks. Care should be taken to ensure there are no trailing leads.
- A “safe” central heating operated fireplace provides a traditional focus to the room.
- Choose age appropriate pictures for a more homely feel and pictures that reflect the local area to provide memory stimulation. Pictures should be displayed behind non-reflective anti-glare acrylic glazing. Position pictures so that the base of the frame is 1.2m above the finished floor level.
- Wall uplighters improve the look and feel of the room by illuminating the ceiling and providing reflective light throughout.
- Providing alternative activities including a radio, reading books, games or jigsaws may help boost stimulation and aid memory. Ensure appropriate furniture is available to play on.
- For the room to feel homely furniture should be traditional and domestic in scale with easy to grip, well contrasting handles.
Our Specialist Dementia Furniture has been designed to fulfil the daily requirements of end users in hospital, home and challenging behaviour settings.
LRV = “Light Reflectance Value” – a measure of the percentage and useable light reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source.
FFL = “Finished Floor Level”
LUX = The unit of illuminance and luminous emittance – the measurement of luminous flux per unit area.