By Leah Conway –
A Dementia-Friendly Design Tool is being introduced into Kirklees to improve inclusivity within the district.
The new tool comes from Kirklees Council’s project partnership with the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre.
What is the ‘Dementia Friendly Design Tool’?
The Dementia-Friendly Design Tool is a collection of guidance that supports a dementia-friendly design, layout and furnishing of buildings and spaces. It helps provide practical solutions to ensuring places and spaces around Kirklees are inclusive for people living with dementia.
The toolkit will help create safe, inclusive spaces, covering practical issues that others might not notice but can make a massive difference to those living with dementia.
Introducing this dementia-friendly design guidance intends to make a difference to work, living and public buildings and services around Kirklees.
Councillor Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “I’m incredibly proud that we are trailblazers in this important mission to make Kirklees a more dementia-friendly and inclusive place to live and work.
“By being the first local authority to work with the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre in this way, we are setting the trend in how to make vulnerable residents feel safe and more able to live independently in their own homes.”
What does the dementia-friendly toolkit include?
The toolkit is a comprehensive document that includes information and guidance for various places and spaces. The document covers eight different sections:
- Essential Technical Guidance
- Outdoor Environments and Public Realm
- Care environment
- Shopping and Town
- Eating, drinking and socialising
- Activity and leisure
- Public buildings and work
- The domestic environment
Within each section, there are chapters on more specific locations, services or tools such as guidance on patterns and colours, guidance for public transport and guidance for in the home.
Making a difference
Already, this guidance has been implemented in the development the first two dementia-friendly libraries in Kirklees.
One library is a new build and the other a refurbishment, but both have improved signage using the tool kit. Changes include using contrasting colours, making sure signage stands out aids orientation within such public spaces. The tool kit will continue to make a difference in the development of facilities across Kirklees, including the redevelopment of North Kirklees’s existing dementia care facilities.
Lesley Palmer, Acting Director of University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DCSC) said: “DSDC are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Kirklees Council on this exciting project, and we applaud the council on their ambitious commitment to improving lives for people with dementia.
“Through the project, DSDC has created a dementia design toolkit for different building typologies to encourage companies and organisations from all backgrounds to make changes.
“Whether the changes are small or large, that can support someone living with dementia to live independently in the community.
“This pilot project will also help inform DSDC’s new three-tiered audit tool, which will be available in 2022. DSDC looks forward to continuing working with Kirklees Council in the future.”
You can find the Kirklees Dementia Design Toolkit and more information on dementia support in Kirklees on the Kirklees Council website here.
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