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Wayfinding for dementia with beach huts for cabinetry

Beach Hut Door Wrap Cupboard Diversions for Dementia- Fun Landmarks solving problems

Aged Care and Dementia Murals

>> A dim corridor and a lifeless common room area were the focus of our attention for this Residential Aged Care environmental design project. The solutions: Cupboard Diversions for Dementia- A series of Beach Huts Door Wraps with cloud skylights and a copper patina finish for the common room. Then, in the corridor, a cheerful stencilled chinoiserie mural, and True Doors(R) room door wraps.

Aged Care facilities tend to be simple and repetitive in design, rightfully considering practicality and hygiene. However, Tailored Artworks has developed practical solutions to decorating without sacrificing useability and the safety of residents.

Door wraps are a popular option to finish Residential Aged Care Environmental Design and solve problems caused by their Institutional Design. In this way, our Beach Hut Door Wraps (or Garden and Shop Front Huts) can aid wayfinding which is important for the 53% of residents typically diagnosed with early onset dementia and the 65% with stage 2 or later dementia. For those experiencing memory difficulties through Alzheimer’s Disease, confusion or paranoia, and pain from any of the 150 off types of dementia, a memorable landmark can be fundamental in providing direction. Add to this, door wraps create a strengths-based design allowing people to make their own decisions based on their strengths.  Human beings sense spaces 90% of the time through our vision. Helping people to navigate their way and uplift their environment with the colours and imagery of life, especially nature is known to create a sense of well-being.

This is what drew a Residential Aged Care Manager at Waterford West to Tailored Artworks. Together, with three of their regional and facility managers, we designed a collection of True Doors for resident room door wayfinding to match our hand-painted Chinoiserie mural. Then, in the common room, the vibe was bleak due to a long row of Institutional styled cupboard doors and vast expanse of dark carpet. Converting this space into an out-and-about vibe with a row of Beach Huts Cupboard Door Diversions and a Glass Mural of Clouds for the skylight made sense to the managers.

Such was the vision. However, in Residential Aged Care Homes people living with dementia cannot always make themselves heard above their neighbours who are not cognitively impaired. Designing for oversized and locked Memory Support Units with confusing rabbit warrens of overly long corridors requires different design thinking to other homes.  As a result, people without cognitive impairment do not wish to see murals everyday in their home that have been designed for those with dementia. They will feel that they are being treated like children- and, fair enough.  And so, this project did not proceed much to the disappointment of the three managers. Sadly, in some company cultures, against all the science and design advice for Residential Aged Care environmental design for dementia- upper management will listen to the voices of those who have one, including families, at the expense of the majority without a voice.

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before an after of a nurses station oor in a Memory Support Unit concealed with a fun Shop Front Door Wrap