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Designing for Dementia environments

Age-related changes and impairments can make it more difficult to understand and navigate the built environment. Impairments may include sensory, mobility or cognitive (or sometimes a combination of them all) which can affect people's functioning, behaviour, independence and ultimately, their quality of life.

Forbo have partnered with Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), an international centre which draws on 25 years of global research and practice, to identify which products in our portfolio can contribute to improving the quality of life for people with dementia.

Designing for Dementia FAQs

Flotex and dementia
DSDC Product Selector

Flooring products and designs

Floor covering is an essential factor in designing a dementia friendly environment as it has an impact not only on the safety and orientation of a space but, when used correctly, can help provide confidence, security and independence.

DSDC have rated our flooring products 1a plain and can be used indiscriminately, 1b semi-plain and can be used throughout or 2 patterned use with caution

Let our product finder help you choose from our DSDC accredited flooring offer selection

Dementia Friendly Flooring Selection Guidelines

Tonal contrast is critical for materials to be seen against each other.

Both DSDC and BS8300:2009 recommend a difference of 30 degrees of LRV between critical surfaces such as floors to walls and doors to walls.

Adjoining flooring should be tonally similar to reduce the risk of falls.

Flooring LRVs should be within 10 degrees of each other (less is better).

Transition strips should match the tones of both surfaces with an ideal difference of no more than 3 degrees of LRV step difference.

It is recommended that skirtings contrast with both the wall and the door where possible.

Surestep texture 89012 leather

Do's and Dont's

Light refection values
Light reflection values (LRV) are very important in designing for dementia environments. Contrast is critical between surfaces such as floors and walls and walls and doors. Forbo have prepared a number of Do and Don't scenarios, with DSDC based on their guidelines, to help provide a starting point for interior designs.
Do & Don't Guidelines

30 step LRV rule
Bespoke Design Service

Bespoke Design Service

Our in-house design team at Forbo can help bring your ideas to life with their free Bespoke Design Service. Whether you are taking inspiration from one particular DSDC accredited product which needs to be carried through the plan or you simply need to see your scheme in the flesh, we can create plan boards of your design complete with product samples.

For areas that have specific requirements such as safety flooring or acoustic flooring, our team can offer help and advice on dementia friendly products to meet your needs, all designed to work with your visualisation.

Bespoke Design Service request

DSDC Audit Certificate

This service independently assesses care setting design for people with dementia. DSDC auditors will visit the building and carry out a detailed audit of all areas used by people with dementia and rate the design of a building against evidence-based research on dementia-friendly design.

The audit award categories are Gold, Silver, Bronze and Highly Commended.

The auditors' report will provide feedback on areas of design and how they rate. If the building receives a rating of Gold,Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended you will receive a certificate from the University of Stirling, DSDC that can be displayed for 3 years to recognise accreditation.
For more information please visit the DSDC website

DSDC Audit Certificate correct size

Committed to the Health of One

In our well being programme ‘Committed to the health of one’ we emphasise the development of our products in relation to the quality of the indoor environment and the individual using and occupying the space. By focusing on health and safety, health & hygiene and health & wellbeing it is our ambition to make a positive contribution to the indoor environment. Forbo are currently collaborating with a number of partners across the globe looking at the topic of Dementia design. Specifically we are trying to assist the design process so people can use our products to create better environments for both for patients and carers.

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