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Spotlight On: Dementia Friendly Spaces

This September sees the start of World Alzheimer’s Month – a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of dementia and challenging the stigma that surrounds it.

Shockingly, 2 out of 3 people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries. This year, the campaign hopes to get people talking, using the hashtag #LetsTalkAboutDementia, in order to drive change and better support those living with dementia.

Here at Borough Care, we’re experts on creating safe and stimulating spaces for our residents living with dementia. We have replica pubs with beer on tap; and nostalgic sweet shops, brimming with treats, that remind our residents of their youth. Dementia friendly shops and cafés where residents can buy items without feeling anxious or hurried. Cinemas showing retro classics and corridors with street names and coloured doors!

All these spaces are excellent for helping residents to orientate themselves in our homes. For those living with dementia, becoming more forgetful is a natural progression of the disease, but it can still be incredibly frustrating and upsetting for the person it is happening to! By making corridors look like typical British streets, complete with street names and individually coloured doors, we can make spaces within the home more recognisable for residents. This helps residents stay independent for longer, navigating the home without assistance.

Our nostalgic and retro shops and cafés also help residents stay independent for longer. They allow those living with dementia to continue interacting with people in simple and ordinary ways. Asking for something they want, or ordering a drink; using their money to pay for it, and enjoying that feeling of independence. The shops are manned by our well-trained staff, or caring volunteers, who understand what it is like for those living with dementia, so if a resident forgets something, or has difficulty communicating, they don’t need to feel anxious or alarmed as they might in a regular shop.

Providing a space where those living with dementia can feel at ease really comes into play with our replica pubs and in-home cinemas. The pubs are a great place to meet up with other residents in a social and familiar setting. We often host pub quizzes, or put the football on the TV. Our cinema, which shows a wide range of classic films, reminds residents of their youth, triggering deep memories and encouraging communication. Social interaction is healthy, like exercise for the brain, and can slow dementia symptoms including deteriorating memory. In fact, staying socially engaged with friends and family has been shown to boost self-esteem, which for people with dementia means better eating habits, more exercise, and better sleep.

We believe everyone should be encouraged and supported to live life in colour, whatever their age, health or capabilities. To help us achieve this we create spaces that encourage activities, friendship and the freedom to lead fulfilled and valuable lives.

You can find out more about our dementia friendly spaces by visiting Our Homes. You can also find out more about our specialist dementia care by visiting Our Care. Our homes are currently open to new admissions and welcoming those that need the additional help and support of residential care, speak to a friendly member of our team on 0161 475 0140 to find out more.