This design guidance published by the Department of Health outlines the elements of the built environment that can make a difference to the quality of care for people living with dementia.
The design principles, core design features and a selection of case studies provide guidance for the development of new design solutions and the adaptation or extension of existing facilities to create dementia-friendly health and social care environments.
The guidance is intended particularly for those who are new to this topic, and to people living with dementia or their advocates who may be engaged as part of stakeholder engagement processes. It may also be helpful for commissioning organisations, auditors and regulators, giving an overall perspective of the dementia-friendly design issues that need to be addressed.
The use of colour and the layout of the buildings, can make an enormous improvement in people’s quality of life, and can reduce the impact of their dementia and help them live more independent lives. The correct colours, textures and layout of the buildings can help to reduce confusion, isolation, and anxiety, and help people live well with their dementia.
This guidance has something to say to everybody who is developing a new dementia service, but it is also as relevant to those people who are currently providing care and who may want to look at how they ensure their maintenance and refurbishment programmes deliver the very best environment in which to support people and enable them to have a good quality of life. This is an important document for all health and social care providers, and it should be the foundation for all development and refurbishment decisions.
The guidance contains case studies from the Dementia Friendly Environments Programme. The outcomes of this programme are covered in the executive summary.