Regis Yeronga ‘Family Mural’ for Dementia
>> The brief: The Memory Support Unit at our Residential Aged Care provider’s Yeronga facility in Brisbane needed to replace the existing photo mural with a dementia exit mural design The photo mural of a field of green grass wasn’t working. Dementia as a progressive disease, changes a person’s visuospatial perception over time, sometimes with bizarre and unexpected habits arising. In this instance, one gentleman on a daily basis would relieve himself against the door’s photo mural. Because, being a country gent, he saw no reason why he couldn’t relieve himself in the outdoor space. This is a common reaction to murals that suggest reality without any context. We prefer to design exit door diversions as a Room With A View to say, “You can see there, but not go there”.
Instead, the Facility Manager wanted a funky, contemporary style in luminous colours to brighten up the space and solve the problem.
>Our strategy: Sharron Tancred designed the new hand-painted mural with our client who preferred a pastel colour scheme with the original beige walls and some wallpaper of her choosing to match. Sharron is passionate about uplifting Aged Care environmental design with colour. As a trained interior decorator and colour psychologist and dementia expert, Sharron explained to her client the subtleties of how people living with dementia perceive colour.
For instance, pastel blue can be registered in the brain instead as grey. People with dementia need a 70 percentile difference in contrast to see a colour. Add to this, as most Aged Care environments are painted cream or beige, we want to add colour meaningfully so it isn’t overstimulating. In this way, applying vibrant colour where it can solve problems, is ideal. Verticle stripes can present an issue depending on the type of dementia a person has. Therefore, breaking up the colours with a neutral for clarity meant our client could have her stripes to contrast with her damask wallpaper.
>>The results: Carla was nervous at first about the colour selection but soon changed her mind when the results became obvious. ‘Thanks Sharron! Everyone loves it! They are so happy with the finished product! None of the residents are standing at the door: they walk up look and turn around and walk away. It has really been amazing to walk through the unit and every time we open the door there is no one in the hallway!’ Carla Troy Facility Manager