How to design well for people with dementia

Dementia-friendly outside space

Source: Saunders Architects

Architects need to include safe outdoor spaces when they design senior living schemes, writes Robin Callister

Going outside makes us all feel better so it should be no surprise that research has shown the health of people with dementia improves when they have access to fresh air and vitamin D. Even spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day outside improves cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms of the disease.

With this in mind we need to act fast to support the needs of our ageing population. One in six people in the UK are already aged over 65, with this ratio predicted to rise to one in four by 2050. And there will be a huge 147% increase in those aged over 85 by the year 2040.

Meanwhile, there were an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015 – a number now believed to be approaching 50 million. This will almost double every 20 years, reaching a predicted 75 million by 2030.

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