Dementia Friendly Design

At ACA we subtly incorporate dementia friendly design into most projects.

The reason for this is that 1 in 11 people over the age of 65 have dementia in the UK. So, it is important for us to keep abreast of any updates.

Recently, Sonia completed training on ‘Intersection of Dementia + Design’ via the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Sterling.

During the training, ACA’s interior designer, Sonia, learnt how dementia affects an individual and how to help using design.  She said:

“It was a useful course to enhance my current dementia friendly design understanding and experience. 

I watched some videos highlighting real life experiences.  This helped me to better understand the difficulties people with dementia experience within an environment. 

As a result, I am more aware of how to apply certain design principles to improve people’s experiences.”

Dementia Friendly Design Examples

The ACA design team apply dementia friendly design principles to facilitate ease of use and to create safer environments for building users.

For example, it is important for people living with dementia to relate to their environment through familiar places, objects, or landmarks.

Therefore, ACA design new builds or re-design existing buildings to create spaces with a homely feel that stimulate all the senses: sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste.

This improves the building users’ wellbeing and makes the environment less clinical.

Additionally, it is important to help people with dementia to navigate their surroundings.

Our design team carefully creates clear and simple designs with visual cues for their destinations.

Colours, materials and lighting contribute to a fully accessible environment.

Dementia friendly design with a vibrant colour scheme

Also, the ACA design team analyses how to support and meet the needs of users to improve indoor and outdoor environments.

We see environments as more than just physical spaces.  So by way of interior design principles such as colour scheme, signage, artwork and furniture, we extend people’s independence.

If you have a project in mind or any questions about dementia friendly design, please get in touch!


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