Building design for people with dementia: a case study of a UK care home

Fisher, L.H. and Edwards, D.J. and Pärn, E.A. and Aigbavboa, C. (2018) Building design for people with dementia: a case study of a UK care home. Facilities, 36 (7/8). pp. 349-368. ISSN 0263-2772

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Abstract

Purpose: This research studies the impact that building design has upon the quality of life for residents of a care home who have dementia. To present a balanced perspective, carers within the care home also participate in the research.

Design/ methodology/ approach: A case study methodological approach was adopted using one care home, ten residents and five staff as a sample frame. During interviews conducted, participants were asked semi-structured questions on how building design features impact upon the quality of life of residents. Questions posed focused upon key design principles that emerged from a detailed review of extant literature.

Findings: Building design for people with dementia must consider a complex array of features in order to provide a safe and habitable living space for residents and family members who visit. This living space must also be suitably utilitarian and provide a workable environment for staff. Hence, an appropriate balance between these two competing requirements must be attained and often a tailor made solution is required that fits the individual’s level of dementia. Three prominent areas that study participants expressed a desire for were: i) a safe environment; ii) support for wayfinding, orientation and navigation; and iii) access to nature and the outdoors.

Originality/ value: The work reports upon the rarely discussed issue of building design for people with dementia and could be utilised by policy makers and construction firms to enhance their knowledge capabilities in this area. The research concludes with direction for future research which should seek to: i) provide more evidence-based research vis-a-vis perception enquiry; and ii) extend this seminal work to a larger sample of care homes or people with dementia living at home.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case study, Quality of life, Building design, Care home, Design guidance, People with dementia, Dementia building design
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA13: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Depositing User: Euan Scott
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 16:04
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2019 16:04
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7072

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