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New Dementia Friendly Outside Area

23 Oct 2018 | BY John Munroe

John Munroe Group, as a company, decided that we wanted to expand our outside space for our Dementia patients and create a suitable and safe area. After doing some research, looking at examples of what other Dementia friendly settings have done and we looked at what available options were on the market with regards to flooring. After talking to people who specialise in outside flooring we decided on wet pour flooring.

Wet pour is an impact absorbing safety surface that is found in schools, nurseries, local authority playgrounds and Dementia care homes. The wet pour is available in a variety of colours and can be installed to almost any design. With the rubberised safety surface, the risk of injury should a fall occur is greatly reduced, due to the cushioning and impact absorbing properties of the wet pour surface.

So, we decided to go with light bright green with a yellow pathway (a yellow brick road style). Colour and contrast can be used to help people with sight loss and dementia to identify key features. Good use of colour and contrast can facilitate independent living, for example, by supporting people to find their way around. With that in mind we thought light bright green would be in-keeping with the outside area as we have tree and fields surrounding us and we did not want to make it like a playground area. We decided to opt for a yellow pathway to create a contrast in colour so if our patients choose too, they would be able to identify and follow the pathway easier.

Green is also associated with growth and life and studies have shown that green can reduce central nervous system activity and can have a calming effect, and green is considered to be a restful colour.

For example, black would not be a good colour choice as black on the floor to a Dementia patient can appear to be a hole, this can cause them not to walk on the floor and this could make them become upset or worried as to why they are heading towards a hole. There are pros and cons with different colours, but we thought that this colour contrast would best suit our patient group.

Matt and his team at M&B surfaces are very professional and carried out their work to a high standard, with a high level of safety whilst carrying out the work. M&B surfaces offer competitive rates and are excellent in the field of communication from start to finish, from the arrange a quote stage of the work right the way through to the aftercare.

Here are the before and after pictures (the fencing work was carried out by our maintenance team).

Peter Thys

OT Assistant

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