University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Designing inclusive environments for people living with dementia: how much do we really know?

Evans, Simon ORCID:, Bray, Jennifer ORCID: and Waller, S. (2021) Designing inclusive environments for people living with dementia: how much do we really know? Working with Older People, 26 (2). pp. 89-96. ISSN Print: 1366-3666 Online: 2042-8790

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Design: The mixed methods project reported on in this paper comprised a review of the literature, a survey of people who have used the five design assessment tools and an iterative process of updating the tools to make them as evidence-based and user friendly as possible.
Purpose: Recent years have seen a growing interest in and awareness of the importance of environmental design to the wellbeing of people living with dementia, in terms of both policy and practice. This trend has been accompanied by a plethora of advice, guidance and tools that aim to encourage and promote the development of inclusive environments. Not all of these are evidence-based, and even those that claim to be so are limited by a paucity of good quality, comprehensive research studies.This paper considers the current state of knowledge in the field of dementia-friendly design, and describes a project that refreshed and updated the suite of Environmental Assessment Tools originally developed by (organisation name blinded).
Findings: The suite of five assessment tools was refreshed and updated to reflect the latest evidence and the views of professionals and others who use the tools. We conclude that while a focus on dementia-friendly design is to be welcomed, there remains a need for relevant high quality evidence to inform such work. In particular, there is a lack of research within people’s own homes and studies that include the perspectives of people living with dementia.
Originality: Few assessment tools and guidelines for dementia-friendly environments are truly evidence-based. This paper reports on a project that combined a comprehensive literature review with the views of practitioners in order to update a widely used suite of tools that aim to make a range of settings more suitable for people living with dementia.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: inclusive environments, dementia, design, care homes, hospitals, extra care housing, health centres
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Copyright Info: Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited
Depositing User: Simon Evans
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 16:23
Last Modified: 10 May 2022 13:44

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