Dementia Action Alliance 2
Making buildings easier for people with dementia
Many buildings are hard to ﬁnd with confusing layouts, which might make us feel uncomfortable,
disoriented or unsafe.
If badly designed spaces make us feel anxious, the impact upon people with dementia can be
Our checklist will help to identify features of the environment of your building that might have an
impact on people with dementia. This concept is also helpful for those with poor eyesight, in fact
we would all beneﬁt from it’s use.
What kind of things might people be experiencing?
Difﬁculties with memory and concentration can make it harder for people to remember
where they are going, and so can get lost more easily if signage suddenly deserts them at a key
junction in the building, or is hard to understand or ambiguous.
It can also mean that people can forget why they are there, and so will be particularly sensitive to
the “clues” a space gives out about its function.
Difﬁculties with perception can mean that some people with dementia might experience
visual or auditory distortions which can increase the risk of falls, present imaginary barriers, or
cause distress or confusion.
Some people with dementia have sensory or physical impairments which bring challenges of
their own, and which can act as “multipliers” - for example, someone with dementia that causes
problems interpreting visual input who already suffers from visual impairment will experience
even greater difﬁculties.