Developing Supportive Design for People with Dementia: Design Principles (King’s Fund, Enhancing the Healing Environment)

[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 8, March 2012].


These design principles have been assembled as a practical resource to help organisations develop dementia-friendly health care environments. The overarching design principles were developed from experience gained via 23 hospital trusts participating in the King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) programme.

There is growing evidence indicating that design principles can be deployed to support, encourage and enable people with cognitive problems or dementia in unfamiliar buildings (primarily hospitals in this programme).

The design principles are presented in five sections, organised around the desired outcomes, namely:

  1. Easing decision making.
  2. Reducing agitation and distress.
  3. Encouraging independence and social interaction.
  4. Promoting safety.
  5. Enabling activities of daily living.

A series of the design elements known to support, encourage and enable people with dementia in unfamiliar environments is listed under each section heading. Many of the principles are simple and can usually be introduced with limited financial outlay.

Full Text Link. Note: Free registration required to access this document.


The King’s Fund (2012). Developing supportive design for people with dementia: overarching design principles. London: The King’s Fund, February 2012. 2p.

Further information may be obtained from the King’s Fund via

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), King's Fund, Management of Condition, National, NHS, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Practical Advice, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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