Life for dementia patients can be confusing, frustrating and distressing and the aim for specialist homes that provide care is to alleviate as much stress as possible and maintain a safe and sanitary environment. The majority of homes wish to tailor the environment to the specific needs of the residents.
A dementia-friendly ward is a place that can help to minimise the stress that residents suffer and make their lives more manageable. With this in mind, there are various things that can be done to optimize and improve accommodation for dementia care.
Providing high quality care for the increasing number of people living with dementia, is one of the big changes impacting the care sector in recent years.
It is crucial that UK care services appreciate the significance of having the appropriate physical environments necessary to deliver the best standard of care. Over the years, a much better understanding of how to use colour and texture, and the importance of designing services that enable people to live well, and maintain as much of their independence as possible.
Those experiencing dementia may also be disabled, ageing or vulnerable, so this also requires care homes to be adapted to provide a safe and comfortable environment for these individuals to live in. When houses are adapted, you need to not only consider the needs of the individual now, but in the future. Physical and mental health can deteriorate over time, and to have a familiar environment that does not have to be changed reduces stress and confusion after the installation.
In this blog, we will discuss the various benefits of Whiterock Cladding and how the specific types of flooring can be highly beneficial – particularly to the dementia care environment.
What is dementia?
The term dementia describes a variety of conditions associated with the gradual deterioration of the brain’s functions. This can include problems with reasoning and communication, speed of thinking, comprehension, mental agility, memory loss and feelings of anxiety, depression or anger. Its can further cause various brain diseases, the most well-known being Alzheimer’s which accounts for 62% of people suffering with dementia. Dementia is not just part of the ageing process; it can be triggered by changes to the brain structure and gradual damage to the brain.
Dementia and perception
The impact of dementia can vary from person to person but there are common strands including disorientation, confusion, anxiety and memory loss. Loss of visual perception beyond the normal process of ageing is a common symptom. Any combination of the effects below can make navigating from one room to another harder, making any kind of injury more likely. The effects can be lessened, or heightened, by the choice of flooring and wall cladding. It’s important to note that people with dementia may experience:
- Less ability to discriminate textures
- Shiny surfaces appearing wet
- Patterned surfaces causing illusions
- Dark surfaces and shadows appearing to be holes
- Less ability to see depth and contrast
- Difficulty identifying and describing different objects
Having the right texture, pattern and colour underfoot can make a significant difference to the health and comfort of people living with dementia. The parameters for dementia healthcare environments are extremely wide and varied and you have a whole raft of factors to consider. The layout of a healthcare facility can be complex and potentially confusing for residents, so your aim should be to improve orientation for patients and establish a clear, uncluttered and easy to navigate space.
Floors must be safe underfoot, particularly when wet as well as being slip resistant and sparkle free, so as not to confuse those with dementia. Colours must be neutral, with no patterns or ambiguous designs that can potentially upset patients and finishes should ideally be matt and muted. There also needs to be good contrast between floors and walls.
But to make the space look less clinical and more welcoming you’ll want to bring nature inside, by using natural-looking designs and products and wood effects. Images of trees and flowers are a highly popular option.
White Rock Cladding
Whiterock Cladding will help protect your walls from impact damage as well as well as creating a highly versatile hygienic wall cladding that is smooth and easy to clean surface, particularly important in environments such as a care home.
It’s crucial to acknowledge that traditional tiling can easily be damaged, making water penetration and bacteria growth a problem. Whiterock is also completely watertight and hard wearing, making it the ideal solution to this issue and perfectly suited to a care environment.
Whiterock Cladding can also protect individuals from impact damage, again, something necessary in a care environment. As well as this, it provides a durable canvas for different colours, designs and themes. For dementia patients is a great way of creating familiar points and a welcoming and familiar, rather than a clinical feel. Using images to help way-finding and to create non-clinical environments is highly useful.
Colours can be incorporated into way-finding and general orientation, this can trigger memory and help to create familiarity but it’s important to realise that not everyone can see colour the same way, so this must be combined with other visual signs such as art and other landmarks where possible.
As people age, they may lose their peripheral vision, undergoing colour and night vision changes, or experience issues with glare and blurry vision. Moreover, the aging eye lens changes, causing colours to appear more yellow and less saturated.
Walls and floors with similar colours can also make it tricky for seniors to notice the beginnings and ends of surfaces. different colours between all surfaces, particularly with steps and landings, can decrease accidental trips and falls. In bathrooms, for example, contrasting colours between the floor and the toilet can help residents navigate safely and help reduce the risk of a trip.
Architects and designers are increasingly called upon to create supportive, liveable, helpful, and safe senior living accommodations to alleviate stress and confusion from an aging person’s everyday life.
Having secure and familiar surroundings that can be navigated easily reduces the impact of some dementia symptoms, helping to avoid stress and prevent slips or falls. Dementia friendly areas not only improve the quality of life but also the safety of residents as well as visitors. Focussing on the design principles mentioned in this blog can maximise resident independence, reinforce personal identity and increase the confidence of residents. A non-clinical, homey look can make a big difference to everyone.
Paynters Contract Flooring – Providing PVC Wall Panels and Hygienic Wall Cladding
Care home flooring raises a challenging and demanding sector. Moreover, flooring needs to be fit for purpose, specific to the area into which it is installed. We install a wide range of care home flooring based in Leeds and Bradford. Practical and welcoming flooring is crucial in the care sector, just consider communal areas which need to be safe and welcoming as well as having safe and homely flooring for residents’ rooms and lounges. In addition to this you’ll need barefoot-rated flooring to provide maximum safety for residents in ensuite/shower and bathrooms. Also, care home flooring must be resilient, hard-wearing and easy to clean.
Even more, it should also be welcoming, therapeutic and aesthetically pleasing for the residents. In addition to this, at Paynters Contract Flooring, we are an approved supplier and installer of Altro Whiterock products. Our installation teams are all Altro-trained to ensure that you receive the best installation available.
We supply and install a range of solutions to give you the confidence to create the type of environment you really want. Whether it’s a big hospital, care home or a small community healthcare centre, you can provide inspirational rooms that don’t just perform and look good but also take the hygiene and the safety of your patients and residents – seriously. We are more than happy to advise on the type and style of care home flooring that best fits the specific requirements for your particular installation. For further information visit our website today.