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Understanding the personal abilities and unique challenges faced by aging individuals, especially those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, better equips design teams to create supportive care and living spaces. Changes that can be credited to dementia are noticeably different from the changes typical of normal aging, but both can occur at the same time.
Understanding the personal abilities and unique challenges faced by aging individuals, especially those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, better equips design teams to create supportive living spaces. Devising goals that target single symptoms and objectives is not always practical, however, because changes associated with aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias tend to appear in “clusters” rather than in isolation. The design-based evidence associated with designing supportive memory care settings results in 12 programmatic design strategies.
Learn about: the personal abilities and unique challenges faced by aging individuals, including those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, how thoughtful design can reduce stress associated with declining physical abilities, memory loss, and care provision.
Learn about the capacity of a virtual nature experience to significantly reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and increase pleasure, and treatment strategies that provide hope of reducing pharmacologic interventions and of improving quality of life for individuals with dementia and the staff who care for them.
Learn about: How to think big when building small; how a smaller environment can benefit residents and caregivers; and SAGE and its mission to unite industry leaders, healthcare providers, and consultants.
Learn about: why the imagined and built environment needs to take a broader, more deliberate role in supporting aging patients, the tools that designers and providers must use to create supportive physical and social spaces, and information that visionaries, collaborators, and patients can share to streamline the design process.
Learn about: why the needs of older people are often overlooked, how universal design can support people as they age, how universal design also benefits people of varying abilities and generations, and the need for designers to think about functionality in new and existing spaces.
Learn about: How UMCPP accommodates the unique needs of senior citizens through a special ED unit, design features that were included to help older patients and their families better navigate the space, and the hospital’s acute care for the elderly (ACE) unit, and why it is configured to transition senior ED patients for an inpatient stay in the most supportive environment.
Aging often involves a multitude of changing needs and priorities. However, there are human needs and desires that remain constant throughout the life course. Design strategies for aging must not only address basic physiological and safety needs, but attend to higher-level human needs as well. The universal design approach is being adopted by many forward-thinking designers who aim to support equitable, flexible, and accessible environments for all users.