Brightness, colour and acoustics can have a huge impact on people living with dementia. Danfloor's accredited carpet ranges help create stress-free environments
As care settings move away from the traditional look and feel of a care home they are seeking more from their carpet designs, according to flooring manufacturer Danfloor UK.
Many homes accommodate residents with complex needs such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, which means that certain design principles and considerations must be adhered to. Guidelines developed from recent studies highlight the importance of colour and contrast, good lighting and a person-centred approach when it comes to designing interiors for those with visual-perceptual difficulties as a result of living with dementia.
Pay attention to Light Reflectance Values
Certain surfaces and features are required to contrast visually within their surroundings to aid navigation. Equating colour with a Light Reflectance Value (LRV) makes this achievable. Current guidance and Code of Practice BS 8300-2:2018 states that adequate visual contrast is provided if the LRV of the contrasting areas differs by at least 30 points.
Similarly, to ensure a resident is able to achieve a stress-free transition between a bedroom and a bathroom, for example, and perceive no change in colour from one surface to another, flooring colours and any joining strips ideally need to be within eight points.
Make careful colour choices
Considered use of colour can significantly improve a visually impaired person’s wayfinding ability. It can create pathways, identify obstacles and define volume and space, helping to make the physical environment safer and easier to use.
Understand the importance of acoustics
Some homes have misconceptions about the use of carpet in healthcare environments and substitute hard flooring alternatives. Such flooring solutions can create noisy and echoey interiors that can make it difficult for some residents to filter out unwanted sounds and noise, resulting in stress and confusion. However, carpet is naturally an outstanding sound absorptive material.
Corridors and communal areas can be busy places and UK building regulations state that floorcoverings should have a weighted reduction in impact sound pressure level of not less than 17dB. There are many flooring options that fall well below this requirement, some achieving as little as 2 or 3dB. A Danfloor carpet generally exceeds the British Standard and achieves in excess of 28dB.
Danfloor keeps up to date with all design recommendations for those living with dementia and has created a selection of carpets that have been accredited by the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling.
For more information and technical support, visit danfloor.co.uk
0333 014 3132