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Good Practice in the Design of Homes and Living Spaces for People with Dementia and Sight Loss is a new book of guidelines launched by Thomas Pocklington Trust and the University of Stirling.
The book reveals how clever design of living spaces can improve the lives of people who are living with two common conditions – dementia and sight loss.
The evidence-based guidelines help make homes more accessible for people with both conditions and were developed after researchers gathered the views and experiences of people living with dementia and sight loss, their families and carers and a wide range of professionals.
Sight loss and dementia are both associated with ageing. The consequences of visual mistakes can be serious for people with dementia who may not realise or remember that they have made a mistake or be able to rationalise or ‘reality check’ what they believe they are seeing.
Professor Alison Bowes, who led the Stirling research, says: "Our research focuses on the person, their individual needs and rights, and the ways in which their independence and capacity can be improved. The new guidelines consider the individual first and show that simple measures can make their homes more accessible and supportive. We believe these are among the first such guidelines to begin to address this important issue of promoting independence and capacity for people with both dementia and sight loss."
Before being finalised the guidelines were reviewed in an online survey of 360 specialists working in the field of dementia and/or sight loss. There was strong agreement with most of the elements and this is reflected in their final format.
Dr. Watson says: "These guidelines will help people with dementia and sight loss to live their daily lives with more independence. We also hope that they will trigger a greater awareness of the problems caused when these two conditions are combined and the importance of considering sight loss alongside issues of dementia."
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For more home safety tips, see the NIH / National Institute on Aging’s checklist:
In a new online resource all the evidence gathered for this research, including the literature review, interviews and focus group feedback will be available to search, providing an invaluable tool for researchers, professionals and all those interested in dementia and sight loss. The guidelines are also summarised in an easy to read booklet and are available in audio and podcast formats.
- The research – Best Practice in the Design of Homes and Living Spaces for People Living with Dementia and Sight Loss – was commissioned by Thomas Pocklington Trust and carried out by Professor Alison Bowes, Dr Louise McCabe, Dr Alison Dawson and Dr Corinne Greasley-Adams of the University of Stirling.
- The guidelines and a full resource of the evidence behind them will be available at the following web address: www.dementia.stir.ac.uk
- The summarised guidelines in booklet, audio and podcast format are obtainable from: www.dementia.stir.ac.uk or www.pocklington-trust.org.uk .
- Thomas Pocklington Trust is a national charity dedicated to delivering positive change for visually impaired people, and commissions a programme of social and public health research, including research about housing for people with sight loss. See: www.pocklington-trust.org.uk
- The University of Stirling Dementia Services Development Centre is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia.