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Ageing- and dementia-friendly design: theory and evidence from cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and environmental psychology can contribute to design guidelines that minimise spatial disorientation.

Wiener, J.M. and Pazzaglia, F., 2021. Ageing- and dementia-friendly design: theory and evidence from cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and environmental psychology can contribute to design guidelines that minimise spatial disorientation. Cognitive Processing. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1007/s10339-021-01031-8

Abstract

Many older people, both with and without dementia, eventually move from their familiar home environments into unfamiliar surroundings, such as sheltered housing or care homes. Age-related declines in wayfinding skills can make it difficult to learn to navigate in these new, unfamiliar environments. To facilitate the transition to their new accommodation, it is therefore important to develop retirement complexes and care homes specifically designed to reduce the wayfinding difficulties of older people and those with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Residential complexes that are designed to support spatial orientation and that compensate for impaired navigation abilities would make it easier for people with dementia to adapt to their new living environment. This would improve the independence, quality of life and well-being of residents, and reduce the caregivers' workload. Based on these premises, this opinion paper considers how evidence from cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and environmental psychology can contribute to ageing- and dementia-friendly design with a view to minimising spatial disorientation. After an introduction of the cognitive mechanisms and processes involved in spatial navigation, and the changes that occur in typical and atypical ageing, research from the field of environmental psychology is considered, highlighting design factors likely to facilitate (or impair) indoor wayfinding in complex buildings. Finally, psychological theories and design knowledge are combined to suggest ageing- and dementia-friendly design guidelines that aim to minimise spatial disorientation by focusing on residual navigation skills.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1612-4782
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ageing ; Dementia ; Dementia-friendly design ; Environments ; Spatial orientation ; Wayfinding
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:35582
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:07 Jun 2021 11:45
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 08:29

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