The Virtual Hospital, developed by the Dementia Services Development Centre, aims to show good design can help to make an acute hospital setting dementia-friendly.
The layouts of fifteen areas are modelled, with information revealed interactively on how the features can make a difference for people with dementia.
Access the Virtual Hospital at www.dementia.stir.ac.uk/design/virtual-environments/virtual-hospital
Modern acute hospitals are very busy, noisy places with a very fast through-put of patients. People with dementia, who are also very ill and anxious, find this environment very difficult. An additional factor is that modern hospitals are very different from the hospitals of the past so make little sense to them. It may not be obvious, for example, where the toilet is, and they cannot always see the staff.
Modern hospitals are rarely designed to take account of the cognitive and perceptual problems of people with dementia. The Virtual Hospital shows how to make an acute setting dementia-friendly and in doing so, easier for everyone.