Implementing sensory design for care-home residents in London

Jakob, Anke, Collier, Lesley and Ivanova, Ninela (2019) Implementing sensory design for care-home residents in London. In: Designing with and for People with Dementia: Wellbeing, Empowerment and Happiness : International MinD Conference 2019; 19 - 20 Sep 2019, Dresden, Germany.


Within dementia care, there is a need to facilitate appropriate sensory experiences and opportunities for meaningful engagement for people living with dementia, particularly in later stages. As such, the provision of multisensory environments designed to meet the needs of these individuals and offering suitable occupation and stimulation, have increasingly gained significance. In this context, this paper explores the meaning of experience-focused, sensory design and the importance of appropriate sensory stimulation for wellbeing. It refers to recent interdisciplinary research in this area and a new guide advising on design of sensory enhanced spaces in residential dementia care. The primary focus of the paper is a case study showcasing the implementation of sensory design, based on these guidelines. The case study reports on the co-creation of a sensory, experience-focused space for residents with dementia in a London care-home. Based on this example, the paper highlights the value and impact of appropriate sensory design on the wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers. The conclusion discusses the learning and knowledge gained from this process as well as perspectives on further research activities including the analysis of user feedback and evaluation of the design intervention.

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