Housing Choices and Care Home Design for People With Dementia

Hadjri, Karim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8243-8396, Rooney, Cliona and Faith, Verity (2015) Housing Choices and Care Home Design for People With Dementia. Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 8 (3). pp. 80-95. ISSN 1937-5867

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1937586715573740


This article reviews the current state of housing for people with dementia by exploring housing choices available to this group, and identifying potential issues with design of care homes. Older people who wish to age in place are faced with the challenge of adapting their domestic environment to ensure independence, accessibility, and social connectivity. This is even more challenging for people with dementia who continue to live at home, given the risks of self-harm and getting lost. More imaginative and inclusive forms of collective housing are needed. For people with dementia, a move to a new environment is often a stressful experience that causes shock, withdrawal, and anger. Hence, more research is needed to develop more fitting long-term housing options for people with dementia. This article presents a brief review on housing choices and housing design for people with dementia. Interviews with managers of 22 care homes were conducted to explore housing choices and design issues. Results show that the main housing choices available to people with dementia offer different levels of care. The choice of care homes relates to the atmosphere of a home as some occupants favor a homely or relaxing environment and others prefer dynamic settings. A combination of appropriate level of care, a good atmosphere, and design quality within the care home are elements that lead to a more enabling environment. Design of a successful caring environment also requires appropriate care and a positive therapeutic and domestic-looking environment.

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