IRT have embedded Dementia Training Australia environmental design principles into all of our secure dementia units within our residential aged care centres. Our secure dementia care environments support resident wellbeing and independence. They also encourage community connections and engagement with loved ones.
Our secure dementia care environments enhance resident wellbeing by reducing unhelpful stimuli, increasing helpful stimuli and making it easier for staff to ensure resident safety. We achieve this by:
- Concealing fences, exits and staff-only doors with colour schemes and decals
- Creating internal and external spaces for residents to engage with, like walkways and faux cafes, shopping precincts, bus stops, backyard gardens and streams
- Improving lines of sight to allow residents and staff to see, and be seen, more easily.
We use environmental design to improve resident independence and safety as they move throughout their home. Resident suites are differentiated with a picture box for personal mementos, and a unique door handle and decal consistent with their family home. Each ‘neighbourhood’ has a street sign or distinctive wayfinding prompts and colours to help residents to independently find their ‘home’. To improve safety, we use colour to contrast skirting boards, walls, handrails and floors. This helps residents maintain a safe footing and find support rails more easily.
Creating spaces that encourage residents’ engagement with each other and their family and friends is important. Dementia care environments may include an all ages park, outdoor recreation areas, dementia-friendly gardening equipment and decals that encourage a range of activities. Colourful interiors and vibrant gardens help to make our secure dementia care environments a place where the entire family feels comfortable and welcome.