ADRC launches ageing and dementia friendly environments education workshops to share research and create impact in practice

People with dementia often find it more difficult to understand and navigate built environments. Dementia-friendly environments compensate for impairments to maximise independence and quality of life. During the last week of November Prof Jan Wiener, Dr Michelle Heward, Amanda Adams and Dr Sarah Hambidge from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) launched the new SustAining residenT NAVigation in care environments (SAT NAV) education programme, running two workshops with 28 local practitioners including care home managers, architects and interior designers.

The aim of the workshops is to enable practitioners to develop strategies to support people with dementia in unfamiliar environments. To facilitate this, practitioners learnt about existing ageing and dementia friendly design principles and audit tools as well as how navigation research can support wayfinding in care environments. This included an overview of the ADRC empirically validated design guidelines, a key output from a two year ESRC grant and over 10 years of research by Prof Jan Wiener, to support effective way finding in people with Alzheimer’s disease in care environments. Design suggestions made by students from the Bournemouth Arts University Graphic Design course led by Alice Stevens were also included to give practitioners ideas for implementing the design guidelines in their own practice.

Feedback from the workshops suggests that the practitioners ‘…have a better understanding about navigation and orientation for people with dementia’ and that the ‘training has given me ideas to take back to workplace’. The team will continue to develop the education workshops and plan to hold several more in 2019. Evaluation of the impact of the workshops in practice will include following up with the practitioners at a later date to explore how they have applied the learning in their own practice.

To register your interest in attending a future workshop please contact Michelle Heward.