I would like you to imagine for a moment that you find yourself in a new unfamiliar building and you have spent ten minutes wandering aimlessly round a series of endless colourless corridors, all looking exactly the same, without any information to signpost you in the right direction. Oh and did I forget to mention, you are bursting to go to the loo!
How do you think this would make you feel? Frustrated? Stressed? Confused?
But that’s okay because you’re confident and fully mobile, so you can find someone and ask for directions, right?
Wrong! You are also infirm, uncommunicative, dependent, and you didn’t find that toilet in time.
Can you imagine the indignity and humiliation you would feel?
If you were living with a dementia, disorientation and bewilderment would be a common experience for you, and you would feel very distressed and frightened. It would be really hard for you to adjust to a new space, because adjustment needs memory and learning. It needs a capacity to work out where you are and how to behave.
You might see wavy lines moving, for example, or a change in floor colour as a step. These, combined with sight and hearing impairments can make the world a confusing, hostile and stressful place for you. No longer can you understand where things are. People can show you, where the toilet is, but next time you need to go, you can’t remember.
So here are some interesting facts for you:
Effective dementia signage, used properly, WILL improve people’s safety and mobility by:
• Reducing incidents of incontinence
• Reducing agitation and aggression
• Reducing slips, trips and falls.
We know that CQC are now focusing in on ensuring that care environments support people with a dementia as discussed in Cracks in the Pathway: Peoples’ experience of dementia care as they move between hospitals and care homes in 2014
‘Environment can have a significant impact on someone living with dementia. It can cause anxiety and confusion, and make it difficult for people to orientate themselves.
We have seen examples where care homes and hospitals had made improvements to the environment to support good care. These included the use of pictorial signage and photographs to identify bedrooms and bathrooms’
We also have recent evidence and experience of this, where we have been able to help a care home which had been deemed to be ‘dementia unfriendly’ by CQC.
As with all of our ranges, our dementia enabling signage has been researched and handpicked to ensure you receive high quality, robust, non-reflective, signs which meet all infection prevention and fire regulatory standards. We can also offer you a bespoke design service to enable you to personalise your signage according to your requirements, at no extra costs.
Investing in our signage is the most cost-effective, long-term solution for providing reliable, visual orientation aids.
But how many signs are needed? (Too many can cause more confusion.)
Where do they need to be located? (There are definite right and wrong places)
What is the optimum height for recognition? (People with a dementia tend to walk with their heads down).
If you would like to receive your FREE copy of our Dementia Enabling Signage Essential Checklist Click here
If you would like more comprehensive advice, Health Care Services can provide this for you too.
We are offering you a Dementia Enabling Environmental Audit service:
• We will provide an on-site survey of your environment
• You will receive recommendations and product solutions to improve your environment.
• You can source all the solutions you need from one company
Helping you to achieve:
• Compliancy with CQC
• Improved orientation for your residents
• Increased communication
• Reduction in slips, trips and falls
If you were living with a dementia, would your drive for self-determination, dignity and living independently cease? – No, if anything, that desire would increase. Good design, good signage and good advice combined, can go a long way towards improving quality of life for us all.
Could Health Care Services hold the key to enhancing your dementia enabling environment?
To find out more about our dementia environmental audit service please Click here> or contact Beckie today on 01773 713713 .