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Navigation made easy, with dementia-friendly flooring


As age-related impairments make it more difficult for people to navigate a building, Mark Jackson of Forbo Flooring Systems examines how innovative flooring approaches can make life easier for those suffering with dementia


mpairments such as sensory, mobility or cognitive (or sometimes a combination of all three) can have a serious impact on older people and those with dementia. Functioning, behaviour, independence and, ultimately, quality of life can all be compromised, but appropriately designed environments can help keep vulnerable people safe from dangers, such as falls. By understanding the impact of such impairments, designers, specifiers and carers can create interiors that can help people feel much safer and more confident in their surroundings. Contrast is key, and can be used to help people with sight loss and dementia to


I ADF APRIL 2018


identify key features and rooms. Good use of contrast can also facilitate independent living, for example, by supporting people to find their way around a space and to use certain fixtures.


One of the key ways to incorporate contrast within a building is through the flooring specification. As with every building, when we walk through an area we will subconsciously notice the flooring. In fact, thoughtfully designed flooring can play a huge role in supporting way finding around unfamiliar premises, and can also be used to define various areas and spaces. It is recommended that a difference of 30 degrees of Light Reflectance Values (LRV) is


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DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY


Many sites are now starting to explore flooring design that better supports users with dementia


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