Interior design for dementia: Part 1

One of the most important things to consider when designing the interiors for a care home is how suitable care home furniture and soft furnishings are for those suffering with dementia. Due to how broad the spectrum of dementia is, it becomes increasingly difficult to anticipate just how residents will react to those surroundings. The interior design for dementia series will look at how certain aspects of interior design can both affect those with dementia as well as some suggestions to take into consideration. Part 1 will be looking at furniture.

Interior design for dementia

When we get older, it is often the case that eyesight is one of the main senses to weaken. This can in turn make it particularly difficult for residents suffering with dementia to recognise the everyday pieces of furniture that we often take for granted. It is also common that, whilst not being able to recognise individual pieces of furniture such as chairs, residents with dementia can become overwhelmed and flustered by their surroundings, especially large dining areas and lounges.

Care home furniture features that can help interior design for dementia

A great way to assist with this is to provide furniture that creates definition and stimulates recognition. Whether it be high contrasting furniture such as the regency beech range, with light wood colours and bright, metal handles or the Danebury Oak collection, with handles that are cutaway, allowing the resident to see into the draw and recognise its use, both are apt ways to make a difference.

Linwood Dual Fabric Chair Linwood Dual Fabric Chair
Another way to help with this is to choose chairs that offer a colour contrast. The linwood chair for example is prepared in dual fabric, a dark vinyl back that is both comfortable and cleanable as well as a lighter soft feel fabric on the arms. This chair, placed in a light room, either on wood flooring or pale carpets makes it highly visible and assists with recognition.

In interior design for dementia, it is recommended that large areas are kept "clutter free". For lounge, dining or day room areas, try to avoid the temptation to put too much into the one space and use bright contrasting colours again to help with that recognition. The ardenne dining chair for example uses a solid, light beech wood frame on skis, and is upholstered in a plum fabric both on the back and the seat.

Dayex has been supplying care home furniture to the industry for the better part of a decade. Over the years we’ve developed a wealth of knowledge that we share when helping you choose interior design for dementia solutions for your care home environments.