Visual environments for people living with dementia: a review of building performance criteria

  • YEAR
    Waterhouse, Jane
    Premier, Alessandro
    Boarin, Paola
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


Globally, there is an increased incidence of dementia correlated with aging populations and growing efforts toward diagnosis. This effort is accompanied by a movement to create more therapeutic built environments for people living with dementia to help promote a better quality of life. Due to the complex implications and consequences of this population’s visual and cognitive impairments, the visual environment can be hugely impactful. This paper provides a review of the literature on the relationship between lighting and health for the population living with dementia. The review provides insights into the current approaches for designing indoor visual environments to improve the health of people living with dementia and examines the level of evidence underlying these recommended approaches. Literature review results showed that appropriate visual environments could help alleviate the dementia-related decline in visual perception and spatial ability, as well as sleep, mood, and behaviour disturbances. However, the existing evidence does not yet provide conclusive building performance metrics and thresholds for designing appropriate visual environments for people living with dementia. Accordingly, the review indicates the future research priorities towards improving building performance for design and research into visual environments for people living with dementia in healthcare and residential settings.

Keywords: Dementia, Health and Wellbeing, Visual Environment, Building Performance.


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