Creating supportive enviroments for people with dementia

Categories: Care.

‘Developing supportive design for people with dementia’ is the latest publication from The King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme.

The publication provides examples of practical, value-for-money ways to provide an environment of care that better supports people with dementia.

As well as an environmental assessment tool and overarching design principles, it also contains a number of case studies and a project directory detailing the artists and designers involved in each scheme and the costs involved.

The report describes the work of 26 projects, run in mental health and community units and acute trusts. Their outcomes show how relatively straightforward and inexpensive changes can have a considerable and positive impact on the wellbeing of people with dementia.

Benefits of improving care environments

The report highlights how appropriately designed environments can:

  • reduce the incidence of agitation and challenging behaviour
  • reduce the need for anti-psychotic medication
  • reduce falls
  • promote independence
  • improve nutrition and hydration
  • increase engagement in meaningful activities
  • encourage greater carer involvement.

Enhancing the healing environment

The King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment programme encourages and enables nurse-led teams to work in partnership with patients to improve the environment in which they deliver care.

The programme, which has been running for 12 years, has also looked specifically at environments for care at end of life and principles of hospice design.

The Environments of Care for People with Dementia programme was funded by the Department of Health as part of work to support the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy in England.

Download ‘Developing supportive design for people with dementia’ from The King’s Fund website.

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