Designing for Dementia

The New Face of Memory Care: Interior Design

Alzheimer’s is only one of many forms of dementia affecting primarily older adults. As populations age at increasing rates, the staggering numbers of dementia patients is causing significant competition among healthcare provider companies vying for residents.

“An estimated 5.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s dementia today, with the number projected to increase to 11.6 million by 2040.” (Rand Corporationcouch in living room

More innovative providers are changing the face of Memory Care by rethinking interior design and lifestyle offerings to make them more appealing and beneficial to those suffering from dementia. Attention to such details as interior colors, fabrics, flooring material, and hallway design serve to enhance the living experience of memory care residents in profound ways. For example, many dementia sufferers experience impaired depth perception–shiny wood flooring may appear to be a dark hole to them. Mirrors can be a source of agitation to others. Many of the agitation triggers for dementia patients would not cause any angst for most of us, but must be considered when designing for memory care.

“The most important thing for any designer working in dementia care is to recognize that dementia is a disability and any solutions they design need to offset the effects of the condition.” (Timlin and Rysenbry)

In our work as move managers & organizers, we pay particular attention to how our client with dementia has their belongings arranged. Then we attempt to duplicate the arrangement in their new space. We may also make suggestions to loved ones and caregivers about ways to insure the client’s spaces are arranged in practical ways that will enhance their enjoyment and decrease the likelihood of agitation.

If you would like to learn more about the current trends in Memory Care innovations, we suggest reading more here.

Cindy & Kandy

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