As we age, our ability to navigate within the environment diminishes and can lead to increased anxiety and fear related to day-to-day mobility. While the aging population continues to grow, the number of older adults living with dementia is projected to increase substantially by 2030. Research shows 40% to 67% of individuals diagnosed with dementia will enter assisted living facilities due to complex care needs and loss of independence. The majority of existing assisted-living facilities were not designed architecturally to accommodate and compensate for cognitive impairment; therefore individuals with dementia may experience reduced spatial orientation and confusion while wayfinding through the environment. Drawing on available literature, this paper examines how architectural and interior design impacts individuals with dementia, explores how individuals with dementia interpret their surroundings, and offers insight into best design and décor practices for improved wayfinding in assisted-living facilities.
"Wayfinding & Dementia: How Design Can Improve Navigation Among Older Adults in Assisted-Living Facilities,"
SPNHA Review: Vol. 14
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/spnhareview/vol14/iss1/5