Gardens And Outside Spaces
Like everyone else, people with dementia may benefit from going outside to get some fresh air and exercise. Make sure that:
- walking surfaces are flat to prevent trips or falls
- any outdoor space is secure to prevent someone wandering off
- flower beds are raised to help people with restricted mobility look after their garden
- there are sheltered seating areas to enable someone to stay outside for longer
- lighting is adequate any entrance to the garden should be easy to see and return home from
Bird feeders and bug boxes will attract wildlife into the garden. And a variety of flowers and herbs can help someone stay engaged.
Page last reviewed: 24 July 2018 Next review due: 24 July 2021
Residents Applaud The Thoughtful Initiative
On Monday , ex-Nee Soon GRC MP Ms Lee Bee Wah shared the campaign on .
Her post gathered numerous responses from netizens, who sang praises for the dementia-friendly initiative.
One pointed out that not only do these colourful signs help seniors, but children whore out playing around the void decks.
Translation: It also helps children playing downstairs find their way back home.
Another netizen asks the scientific rationale behind such signages. According to Ms Lee, experts from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital explains that people remember colours for longer periods.
Translation: My question is, do dementia patients still remember colours?
Highlight Important Visual Elements
- It is useful for the colour of table settings to contrast with the tablecloth or table
- Chair upholstery or finishes should contrast with floor
- Bathroom fixtures like sinks and toilets should contrast with the bathroom wall and floor
- Doors can be made less obvious by painting frames and the door the same colour as the wall. Alternatively, to draw attention to the door contrasting paint colour could be used to highlight the door frame or door.
Also Check: Pathophysiology Of Dementia Disease
Johnstones Help Create Dementia
Johnstones Trade recently worked with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hunters Architects to completely refurbish Derwent Ward, the hospitals first purpose-designed, dementia-friendly area.
In the UK, a quarter of hospital beds are occupied by people over 65 who are living with dementia. At Kingston Hospital, this figure is closer to 50 per cent however the existing cluttered and crowded ward space didnt cater for the needs of the hospitals patients who are living with dementia.
Looking for a fresh design that would support the well-being of both patients and staff, Kingston Hospital asked Johnstones Trades colour experts to develop a colour scheme that would reinvigorate its dementia-friendly ward.
Donna Taylor, Principle Technical Colour Consultant at Johnstones Trade, said: Colour is a fundamental part of dementia-friendly environments. With semantic dementia, for example, people may need to rely on conceptual knowledge to identify places and objects colour plays a key role in stimulating this recognition.
As our eyes get older however, colour becomes less vivid. Its therefore important to use bolder colours in dementia-friendly design to help patients recognise them more easily. There is a fine line though, as too much colour can be confusing and overwhelming for someone living with dementia.
Working with Hunters Architects, the team at Johnstones Trade were asked to develope a highly specialised colour scheme.
Environments Of Care For People With Dementia
Patients are at the centre of The King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment programme, which has supported over 250 multidisciplinary teams to improve care quality and support service change through high quality, innovative, value-for-money environmental improvements. Clinical leadership, patient involvement and estates support have been critical to the success of the individual projects in acute and community hospitals, mental health units, hospices and prisons in England.
In 2009, the Department of Health commissioned a specific EHE programme that focused on developing more supportive design for people with dementia in hospitals. All team members received training in design principles and the use of colour, light and art prior to starting their scheme. 26 projects were completed in acute, community and mental health settings. The schemes were chosen to provide exemplars capable of wide replication, with local adaptation, across the service. The projects ranged from the redesign of memory clinics, outpatient waiting areas, dining rooms and social spaces to ward improvements and the provision of palliative care facilities.
How Can I Apply Lrv When Designing For Dementia
There are key areas that you will consider when designing any interior scheme, by adding in the consideration of LRV you can ensure that your new environment will be as dementia friendly as possible. The basic principle is to ensure that there is a 30 point LRV difference between colours that are directly adjacent to each other. Below we set out how this should be considered practically:
Whilst designing a dementia friendly interior can often seem like a minefield at first, our expert team have years of experience creating interiors that enable residents to live independently and provide a high quality of life through careful design considerations. If youd like advice on your interiors, contact us on 01603 664 900 or email .
Doors In Care Settings
In a care home, these adjustments can help to prevent residents walking into someone else’s bedroom. In their confusion the person might start searching the drawers and cupboards because they think their own things have been replaced with lots of strange things. When the room’s owner comes in they then think the person is prying, or worse, stealing. This can start a major incident, which could have been prevented.
Read Also: Does Prevagen Help With Dementia
Include Accessories To Trigger Memories
Accessories that relate to residents memories, such as nameplates, photographs, and memory boxes, are also an excellent way to help make residents with memory loss feel more at ease. You can use these to help residents find their own space and familiarise themselves with their environment.
You might also want to encourage dementia residents to keep a diary where they can write down what they have been up to, in addition to upcoming events, to help them feel a sense of independence.
Therapy dolls are also helping to calm dementia residents, and help them feel safe and happy. These lifelike dolls can provide residents with enjoyment by letting them hold or spend time with them, as they can help to bring back reminiscent thoughts, or even give residents a renewed sense of purpose.
Alternatively, you may wish to invest in life-like animals, which can help residents to feel safer and happier, perhaps even bringing back memories of childhood pets.
Use Our Model For Additional Ideas
We created this reminiscence lounge for Friends of the Elderly , which is a great example of what a dementia-friendly environment looks like.
- The main points to take from this are: Comfortable, traditional seating with waterproof upholstery and piping to clearly define the shape
- Flooring that contrasts with both the furniture, and the accessories that sit on it
- Focal point fireplace that makes the room recognisable as a lounge
- Retro style TV and TV unit this will be familiar to residents who were young during the era of these pieces
- Windows not covered to enable maximum natural light
- An overall bright, cheerful colour scheme
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People can learn more tips and take a virtual tour of the apartment here. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America also plans to offer in-person tours soon.
Reeder stressed that while there are many, many tips and suggestions people may glean from the apartment, not everything is going to work for everyone.
“It’s really good to always have a baseline for your loved one so that you can really assess where a person is at, what their strengths are, what their challenges are, so you can help maintain a person’s independence as long as possible,” she said.
Good Design Elements Include Lighting And Color And Contrast
Good lighting and contrasting colors are important elements of dementia friendly design. David McNair of the Dementia Centre describes four elements of good lighting1:
- To compensate for aging and dementia affected eyes, establish two times the recommended level of lighting in your home
- Use daylight as much as possible, keeping curtains open throughout the day
- Use home style lighting, such as table lamps or wall mounted lights, vs. a large overhead light that might make one feel like he is in an institution and
- Lighting should match the cycle of natural day to night. This helps circadian rhythm and will help maintain a quality sleep pattern.
Color and contrast are also important for us to see things better. For instance, placing a plain white dinner plate over a green placemat will create higher contrast and help your loved one see the plate and the food. Colored switch plates against a white wall, vs. white against white, is another example of contrast and will help your loved one see the light switch. With these elements in mind, lets go room by room to see what we can do to make them dementia friendly2.
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Hospital Environments And People With Dementia
Going into hospital is a potentially frightening and bewildering experience, with unfamiliar surroundings, noise and very busy spaces. For people with dementia who are generally, though not always, older people, and who may already have poorer sight and hearing, this experience can be exacerbated by the perceptual and visuospatial problems associated with dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. These difficulties can lead to increased agitation, disorientation and distress and people with dementia are likely to:
be confused and agitated in unfamiliar environments, particularly if they are visually over-stimulated, for example, by a plethora of signs and notices
be unable to see things, for example, handrails and toilet seats, if these are the same colour as the wall or sanitary ware
experience shadows or dark strips in flooring as a change of level and therefore try to step over them
resist walking on shiny floors because they think they are wet
want to explore and walk around.
However, if hospital environments are appropriately designed it is possible to reduce confusion and agitation, encourage independence and social interaction, and enable people with dementia to retain their ability to undertake activities of daily living.
Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
A high percentage of individuals with dementia will lose some kind of color perception leaving many people wondering what colors do dementia patients prefer.
This caught the interest of scientists who have conducted numerous studies on light and color.
Most of these studies produce contrasting results.
Many experts, however, agree that using the correct colors in the environment where a person with dementia resides can help in the provision of quality care.
Various colors often come up when you ask about the colors that people with dementia like.
These include green, blue, orange, yellow, pink, and red.
There are several reasons the above-mentioned colors work well for persons with dementia as explained below.
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What Are The Colors That Dementia Patients Like
Many experts, however, agree that using the correct colors in the environment where a person with dementia resides can help in the provision of quality care. Various colors often come up when you ask about the colors that people with dementia like. These include green, blue, orange, yellow, pink, and red.
Labels And Signs Can Help Someone Get Around
Labels and signs on cupboards and doors can be helpful, such as a toilet sign on the bathroom or toilet door. Signs should be:
- have words and an appropriate picture that contrast with the background
- placed slightly lower than normal as older people tend to look downwards
It may also help to put photos on cupboards and drawers to show what’s inside them. For example, you could put a photo of cups or mugs on the cupboard that contains these.
Alternatively, see-through cupboard doors can be a great help to someone with dementia, as they can then see what’s inside.
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The Living Room/family Room
- Increase lighting as needed for safety. Place lamps where safe, and use wall mounted lighting where possible.
- Make sure seating is comfortable and at appropriate height for ease when sitting and standing.
- Place the TV remote in visible reach, keeping them in the same place.
- Place memorabilia that trigger positive memories such as photos of family, events, holidays.
Health & Wellness4 Lifestyle Changes To Help Prevent Alzheimers
Making this switch at home can be simple. “You don’t have to get an entire lighting system you could just get the light bulbs,” Reeder said. “They cost about $25. That can really help someone be able to ease into the evening and reduce sundowning,” which refers to the increased confusion and anxiety some people begin to experience around dusk.
Night lights are another inexpensive addition that could make the home more dementia-friendly, so the person is able to see if they need to get up at night to use the bathroom.
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Why Dementia Friendly Print
Printed signs are an important part of dementia care, both for people who live independently and those who reside in assisted living homes. They can help with navigation and familiarity, providing powerful reminders of where essential objects and facilities can be found without leaving people to wander aimlessly or constantly rely on guidance from others which they may not be able to seek out if theyre disoriented.
Dementia-friendly print may include reminders to take medication, calendars, or signs that direct the path different rooms. Not only do these simplify the navigation process, but theyre important for increasing recall and aiding in communication.
Help Locating A Bedroom Door
Helping a person with dementia to get a good night’s sleep is vitally important. For a person with dementia, just finding your bedroom when faced with a number of doors can be confusing. Painting the bedroom door in a contrasting colour to the surrounding wall is crucial for finding the door. Also, personalise the door by having a sign and perhaps incorporating pictures or photographs.
Helping a person with dementia to get a good night’s sleep is vitally important.
Also Check: Bobby Knight Dementia
Where To Go What To Eat
In addition to the environment, look at other ways using color for the affected individual. Incorporate color in the individual’s wardrobe, using his/her favorite colors. Reports show that individuals feel happier when wearing colors such as coral, peach and variations of orange.
Bear in mind that due to natural thickening of the lens of the eye with age, older people may experience colors as washed out and find blues, greens and purples harder to differentiate. Additionally, color preferences can change, and the person with dementia experiences increasing sensitivity to all things, so it is necessary to create a balance throughout the journey of the disease.
Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, director of services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area at or visit the the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.
Ease Of Interpretation & Visibility
Dementia friendly signs should always be easy to interpret. The easier to understand, the better. Cognitive difficulties and disorientation in dementia patients can make it challenging to understand over complicated text and icons. This can cause stress and anxiety in the patient that could have otherwise been avoided.When a person with dementia looks at a room sign, it may be difficult for them to interpret the text. Therefore, its important to design the room signs with large, simple and clear icons to help ease any confusion. To further help ease visibility of the icons, the dementia friendly signs should always have a matt finish. If the sign has a glossy or reflective finish, this can hinder the visibility for dementia patients.
Also Check: What Color Is The Dementia Ribbon
What Colors Are Good For Dementia Patients
Subsequently, one may also ask, what is the color for dementia?
Subsequently, question is, is Colouring good for dementia? Colouring can be very beneficial for people with dementia as it is an engrossing activity that anyone can do. It can be a useful activity to help ease agitation or aggression in someone with dementia as it is very distracting and calming. Some experts have likened the effect of colouring to be the same as meditation.
Also asked, is yellow a good Colour for dementia?
Yellow: This is another stimulating colour which is used in activity areas to increase brain wave activity. Stimulating colours are good for Alzheimer’s patients as they can trigger memories and cognitive function.
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Nee Soon Hdb Blocks & Signs Are Colour
Persons with dementia often find it difficult to navigate even their own neighbourhood, and risk losing their way.
But luckily for residents in Yishun, getting around the block becomes easier with colour-coded signs and zoning icons.
They are part of an effort in making the area more dementia-friendly.
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Using Your Signature Colours
If youre part of a care home group with its own set of signature colours, you may be inclined to use this palette throughout your new care home. Thats absolutely fine, but you should use it conservatively.
Using the same three or four colours through an entire care home can be a bit repetitive and even disorientating for residents. To keep your care home on-brand and in-line with any other care homes you may have, wed suggest you use your signature colours in just a few areas of the building.
This could be the reception area, the offices, and perhaps a lounge or dining area. If you use these colours in residents bedrooms, it can make your care home feel less cosy and more corporate.