Enabling environments

Word cloud dementia research page

What is an enabling environment?

An enabling environment is one which supports an individual to enjoy the best possible quality of life. This depends on many things, but improvements in an environment will make a person feel more at home and less anxious. Here are some reflections from our Postgraduate students on what they think makes an enabling environment.

Why are enabling environments important for people with dementia?

People with dementia can experience challenges created by poorly designed environments. Dementia causes changes in the brain which mean people can perceive the world differently. This can cause challenges with sensory modalities such as sight, smell and sound. There are many simple changes which can be made to help a person living with dementia maintain their independence. These can often be ‘quick wins’ like adding good colour contrast to help people see and differentiate different spaces.

Dementia studies research page

To find out more about enabling environments please look at the sections below or contact Teresa Atkinson on t.atkinson@worc.ac.uk

 

What do we do at the Association for Dementia Studies?

At the Association for Dementia Studies we have a wealth of expertise in helping you to create the best possible environment for people living with dementia, whether that’s at home, in a care setting, in extra care housing or in hospital. We can provide advice, consultancy, training and bespoke guidelines for your organisation.Some of the organisations we have worked with:

What consultancy, tools and resources can we offer?

People with dementia can experience challenges created by poorly designed environments. Dementia causes changes in the brain which mean people can perceive the world differently. This can cause challenges with sensory modalities such as sight, smell and sound. There are many simple changes which can be made to help a person living with dementia maintain their independence. These can often be ‘quick wins’ like adding good colour contrast to help people see and differentiate different spaces.

Education: You may want to undertake training for yourself or your team. We offer a Level 7 Postgraduate module on ‘Enabling Environments for people living with dementia’  as part of our Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies.

We also offer bespoke training which can be delivered face-to-face or online to help meet your team’s needs. Contact us for further information.

Consultancy: We can work with you to assess your environment and design and implement a plan of action based on the findings. We can also develop design guidelines specific to your organisation or setting.

Tools and resources: Our suite of environmental assessment tools now comprises six versions for different settings, and they are all available to download for free. You can also find out more about how to use the tools in this blog post

Research: Several research projects have included enabling environments work, such as Green Dementia Care and Walking with Purpose.

What is available more widely?

There are many documents which you may find useful to help you understand more about enabling environments for people living with dementia: