It’s Not All About Signage – For Care and Dementia Homes

I’ve got to admit, when I’m creating meaningful environments in residential and dementia care homes, I often get lost. Not just in the project, but literally, in the corridors. Some corridors seem to travel round corners and link back onto themselves – Some have a number of short avenues leading off them, all looking quite similar. Many care homes have ‘wings’ which are physically the same and decorated in the similar colours, so it can be difficult to remember which corridor or area I’m in. This often makes me think: How can a person who is living with dementia, find their way around?

We know that many dementia care homes are providing colour fronted doors to help people recognise their own room. Some have installed clear memory boxes for residents and families to add personal photographs and recognisable artefacts to help room identification. This is commendable of course, but how is the person to find the room in the first place?

Of course, a residential home should feel as much ‘like home’ as possible to help residents feel comfortable and relaxed. Personally, I don’t like to see garish signs screaming from the walls although we are encouraged to believe that bright primary coloured signage is helpful.

It’s not all about signage:

I’m often asked about signage and this is why I’ve been spending some time considering, designing and installing attractive, interesting and meaningful signage to help people find their way around.

Part 2 – What can we do to improve orientation ? So, when I’ve been getting confused in corridors and corners, a sign or image could be helpful. Consider naming corridors with local titles of streets, areas, communities or landmarks. To be continued …