Designing homes for dementia
Carefully thought-out design can positively impact people living with dementia.
Blair Keenan is the New Zealand principal at Marchese Partners, which is leading the way in designing spaces that are centred around people with cognitive impairments.
He wants to change the design of aged-care facilities in New Zealand and make sure the country is not left behind.
Keenan says the country needs to lift its game when it comes to designing environments that cater for people with dementia and cognitive loss.
‘‘There are not a lot of places that I would want to put my mum and dad or myself into,’’ he says.
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, remains one of the biggest global public health challenges facing this generation.
With around 15,000 people living with dementia in the Auckland region, this number is expected to double in the next 15 to 20 years and specialised care is essential.
Alzheimer’s Auckland provides a wide range of services and support across the region and is holding a symposium on August 28 to those supporting or working with people who have dementia.
Keenan will be speaking at the event to showcase the Esprit de Vie philosophy that Marchese is applying in the design of aged care and seniors living.
‘‘It’s simple things throughout such as finishes, materials and accessibility,’’ he says.
‘‘By using a combination of design innovation and human sensitivity we hope to create a new generation of environments that facilitate and engender wellbeing for seniors.’’
Marchese is already building award-winning and purpose-built facilities across the globe which create choice, independence, dignity and respect for those towards the end of their lives.
Keenan says it’s all about creating a familiar environment and igniting old memories to decrease anxiety and frustrations.
Other speakers including psychiatrist Dr Gary Cheung will also be at the symposium.
The Alzheimer’s Symposium will be held on August 28 at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Mt Wellington. Cost is by donation to Alzheimer’s Auckland.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and for more information by August 24.
Waterbrook in Sydney includes 79 independent living units with 1200sqm of facilities.