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Launch of Dementia Friendly Hospital Guidelines 2018

The Dementia Friendly Hospital Guidelines from a Universal Design Approach provide detailed guidance in relation to dementia specific design issues and the Universal Design (UD) of acute hospitals in Ireland. For many patients, the hospital is challenging due to the busy, unfamiliar, and stressful nature of the environment. For a person with dementia the hospital experience can be exacerbated by cognitive impairment and behavioural or psychological symptoms, and can therefore prove to be a frightening, distressing, and disorientating place.

In response to these issues, research funded by the HRB has been completed to investigate dementia friendly design for acute care public hospitals. This has examined how the physical hospital environment might provide a better experience for people with dementia, and how hospitals can be Universally Designed to enable family members and carers to provide support for the person with dementia throughout their visit to the hospital.

Principal Investigator of the research project, Professor Desmond O'Neill, 'one of the most significant societal advances in recent decades has been a stronger sense of our shared humanity and intertwined narratives with those among us living with dementia. Rather than being othered into a two-dimensional and grim label from which our collective gaze was averted, particularly in terms of the design and function of our hospitals, we now are beginning to appreciate that including the world view and perspectives of those of us living with dementia is an imperative for the future design of all health care facilities.'

The Lauch is on June 21, 2018, at the Centre for Excellence Universal Design National Disability Authority, 25 Clyde Road, Dublin 4.

This research was funded by the Health Research Board (HRB)