On 25th November, Dr Fiona Kelly attended the Cecily Saunders Institute at King’s College London as an invited guest speaker to present research on determining what aspects of the design of care environments might be important for people with dementia nearing the end of life. The key messages of her presentation were the importance of firstly assuming the ability of people with dementia to engage with the senses, whether through touch, sound, smell, sight or taste and then to provide the means of engaging with whatever sense was appropriate or possible. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with the audience in which the practical application of design principles within hospital settings was debated. The consensus was that even small changes can make a big difference. Following the presentation and discussion, the panel made a commitment to include consideration of dementia design principles in staff education within the Institute.
Fleming, R., Kelly, F. and Stillfried, G. (2015) ‘I want to feel at home’: establishing what aspects of environmental design are important to people with dementia nearing the end of life, BMC Palliative Care. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-684X/14/26