HCD Expo 2021: Designing a Dementia Friendly Waiting Room


For many patients, the hospital is full of challenges due to its stressful, busy and unfamiliar nature. But for people with dementia, cognitive impairment and behavioral or psychological symptoms may exacerbate the experience, making it a frightening, painful, and disorienting place. Speakers at the Cleveland HCD Expo discussed how to design waiting areas to reduce stress and accommodate patients and their families is an important part of hospital design.

“Hospital and outpatient settings are usually designed to support patients with a single disease who can maintain physical and cognitive independence,” said speaker Addie Abushousheh, a research assistant in Gerontology Health Design Center (Concord, California), during the “Forget Me Not: Acute and Outpatient Waiting Room Dementia and Aging” conference.

“The harmful side effects of hospitalization have surprised many elderly people who wish to be in better health when discharged from the hospital rather than worse-this is called a’hospital-related disability’,” she continued. “Persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias tend to have stronger effects on usage patterns than other adults, and they are disproportionately affected. For the elderly, especially those with dementia For the elderly, waiting room design may inadvertently hinder access to medical services and cause maladaptive behaviors and symptoms. This further leads to personal confusion, difficulty in negotiating space, and increased dependence on peers.”

To provide a waiting room to support dementia, Abushousheh and speaker Jen Worley, design research director BSA LifeStructures (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Chase Miller, planning director of BSA LifeStructures, discussed how to transform human-centered design strategies (e.g., promote autonomy through visible destinations, controlled walking distances, and adaptable furniture and layouts) And self-sufficiency) designed interventions focused on dementia in residential care settings. This approach can support fair access to the widest range of patients in the healthcare environment.

The speaker outlined the design strategies related to supporting aging and dementia waiting rooms:

  • Understand the needs of customers. In order to goSign the support space, the team needs to know The unique challenges faced by the elderly, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. “Some changes are usually related to aging, and people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias experience other changes more often,” Abushousheh “It is important to carefully consider these things to provide inclusive design, Ability, origin and direction.” “The symptoms associated with different dementias are really confusing, especially when people have more than one type of dementia at a time; this is why it is very important to consider holistically and inclusively to adapt to the most vulnerable groups. Important reason.”
  • Consider how to see and perceive the space. “Older people may not be able to see objects or see fine print at close range, have blurred or blurred vision, or lose sight and blindness. The lens of the eye also begins to turn yellow, which changes the perception of color,” Abushousheh said. “The choice of finishes and colors needs to be very deliberate because they are essential to perceive the safety or danger of the space. In addition to cognitive deficits that change the way they experience and navigate the built environment, aging and older people may have one or more visuals obstacle.”
  • Provide a private seating area in a large space. “As designers, we need to make the space as easy to understand as possible,” Wally said. “The seating area in the environment needs to be defined more clearly so that the use of each seat is obvious and provides clues on how to perform. In addition, movable furniture should be used to increase flexibility in the future. There is also a gap between seating areas. There needs to be enough space to use a mobile device and allow companions to participate in appointments.”
  • Include visual cues and lighting strategies that facilitate interaction within the spaceWorley responded to the guidance provided by the NIBS Design Guidelines, saying: “The treatment of low vision and other visual impairments is a medical issue; ensuring that the visually impaired can enter the built environment in the best way is a design issue.” She continued: “Visual cues The lack of clarity or any flaws in our interpretation or understanding of the environment will reduce our ability to understand or safely navigate the environment.” Stratified lighting strategies should be used to enhance spatial areas and illuminate paths to aid spatial navigation.
  • Adjust the sound source and improve acoustic controlNoise can cause physical and psychological disability and mitigation strategies, such as insulated plasterboard, sound-proof ceilings, carpeted floors, private bedrooms and clinical offices instead of stations-to name a few-improve the acoustics of the space, thereby improving Sleep, concentration, mood, strength, endurance, diet and work performance according to Abushousheh.

Miller said: “Because the proportion of the population in this demographic structure is so large, inclusive design for the aging population is essential to improve and improve the quality of life.” “These people not only have to experience the waits that are common in almost all nursing settings. Room space, but also to experience a larger commercial environment and public space. As designers, we must think as a whole, so that the built environment can support and support everyone, rather than hinder them. After all, we are all getting old , So it’s not’them’, but to provide support and support for all of us.”



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