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Dementia Services Design Centre

What is the Dementia Services Design Centre (DSDC) and it's product accreditation service?
October 2020

Allura wood luxury vinyl tiles in restaurant

As you may know from reading our past blogs, we have had a working relationship with the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) since 2016, but do you know what the DSDC actually is and what it does? Read on to learn more about the centre and its product accreditation service.

The DSDC is an international centre of knowledge and expertise, dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. It draws on research and practice from across the world, to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date resource on all aspects of dementia. In fact, for the past 30 years it has worked with individuals, organisations and manufacturers like Forbo, to improve the lives of people living with dementia through care and design, helped to make more communities dementia-friendly and influenced policies.

The centre offers an array of services and also has an impressive multidisciplinary team of clinical specialists, architects and designers to promote the importance of design for people with dementia in both care facilities and public spaces. Indeed, well-designed products and environments can increase independence and quality of life for older people and people with dementia.

Sarlon Oak 438494

The team has developed a unique insight into what can be done to support people with dementia, based on research and evidence, and has also devised a Product Accreditation service.

As part of the Product Accreditation service, the centre partners with manufacturers to review and assess product suitability for use in a dementia-friendly environment. For ease of identification, the suitability of a product is classified by a number - based on the pattern and the tonal contrast of colours within the pattern itself.

For example, 1a has a plain aesthetic and 1b has a semi-plain design, both of which are suitable for broad use within a dementia-inclusive environment, while floor coverings that are classified as category 2 have a patterned surfaced and should be used with more caution.

The DSDC Accredited Product logo is awarded on the merit of the individual product and, where applicable, colourway. It is also accompanied by technical literature, which explains the design principles of a dementia-inclusive environment and supports the application of products in practice.

DSDC Accredited Products

If a product receives an accreditation from the DSDC, it allows organisations to support specifiers and designers to create environments suitable for an ageing population by streamlining the product selection process.

Design for the Mind

However, it is also important to know that for an environment to be considered ‘dementia-inclusive’ or ‘dementia-friendly’, careful consideration must be given to the entire specification process, not just the flooring. As with many design features, individual needs and preferences should also be considered. What is fine for one person, may not be the case for another.

We are pleased to be one of the manufacturers that has worked with the DSDC, to have our floors rated and assessed in relation to dementia design principles, where over 800 of our products have been accredited across the Class 1a, 1b and 2 rating system.

To help you find our full list of DSDC accredited products, we've created a series of LRV and DSDC Rating documents which can be found in our Product Download Centres. Visit the forbo download Centre

For full transparency, we also highlight when a product isn’t suitable for use and the reasons why (due to the pattern, texture or contrast for example), allowing designers to make an informed decision. For more information about our accredited portfolio, please visit our Designing for Dementia web pages or to find out more about the DSDC, visit the DSDC website

For more information on the Do's and Don'ts of designing dementia-inclusive interiors, Download our brochure