Design guidelines for people with dementia and sight loss

Well designed homes can benefit people with dementia and sight loss, according to new research.

New guidelines by Thomas Pocklington Trust and the University of Stirling reveal how clever design of living spaces can improve the lives of people who are living with dementia and sight loss.

Entitled: Good Practice in the Design of Homes and Living Spaces for People with Dementia and Sight Loss, the study aims to help make homes more accessible for people with both conditions.

Dr Lynn Watson, Head of Housing Research, Thomas Pocklington Trust, says: "The combination of these two conditions is increasingly common yet guidelines for designing homes - both individual homes and care homes - have tended to focus on one or other of the conditions.

"We wanted to review existing research and add to it the real experiences of people living with both dementia and sight loss. The result is an important new set of guidelines that can make a real difference to people's lives."

Professor Alison Bowes, who led the Stirling research, says: "The new guidelines consider the individual first and show that simple measures can make their homes more accessible and supportive."

The study highlights key areas in the home that could be improved with better design. These include the use of colour and contrast, clever lighting and audible and tactile control panels.

Watson believes these guidelines will help people with dementia and sight loss to live their daily lives with more independence. "We also hope that they will trigger a greater awareness of the problems caused when these two conditions are combined and the importance of considering sight loss alongside issues of dementia."

Further information

  • Good Practice in the Design of Homes and Living Spaces for People with Dementia and Sight Loss on the Dementia Centre website.