Dementia-Friendly Hospital Design

We report the findings of a knowledge synthesis research project on the topic of dementia-friendly acute care (D-FAC) design | The Gerontologist


This exploratory project systematically mapped what is known about D-FAC physical design in hospitals. We discuss our challenges in locating reportable evidence and the implications of such design for maximizing independent function while ensuring safety and harm reduction in older people living with dementia.

A total of 28 primary studies plus expert reviewers’ narratives on the impact of design and architectural features on independent function of hospitalized older people with dementia were included and evaluated. Items were mapped to key design elements to describe a D-FAC environment. This scoping review project confirms the limited nature of available acute care design evidence on maximizing function.

Physical design influences the usability and activity undertaken in a health care space and ultimately affects patient outcomes. Achieving safe quality hospital care for older people living with dementia is particularly challenging. Evidence of design principle effectiveness is needed that can be applied to general medical and surgical units where the bulk of older persons with and without dementia are treated.

Full reference: Parke, B. et al. (2017) A Scoping Literature Review of Dementia-Friendly Hospital Design. The Gerontologist. Vol. 57 (No. 4) pp. e62-e74.

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