Dementia (lat. Dementia “without spirit” and de = diminishing, Mens = mind) is a generic name for several diseases that sooner or later involve the loss of important brain functions. Dementia was a relatively rare occurrence before the 20th century as fewer people lived to old age in pre-industrial society.
However today, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International, globally the number of people with dementia in 2013 was estimated at 44 million people, rising to 76 million in 2030 and 135 million in 2050. In the Asia Pacific region itself, the number of people with dementia is estimated to increase from 23 million people in 2015 to 71 million people by the year 2050.
Medically there is no cure for dementia, but offering person-centered care and a positive environment could help to improve the quality of life of persons living with dementia.
If they could live in a positive, dementia-friendly environment – one that supports their health, independence and safety, persons living with dementia may experience more personal control over their lives. They are also more likely to remain active and engage in activities familiar to them. This could help slow down the decline of the disease, and allows them to live well for as long as possible.
Creating an environment that is more dementia-friendly does not necessarily involve calling in the builders, and can be as simple as rearranging the right furniture. Bland, boring, repetitive environments are proven to be confusing for for a person living with dementia.
Driven by the need to provide an optimised living and nursing environment that focuses on a person’s reality, vitality and uniqueness, wissner-bosserhoff, a German furniture manufacturer together with the Sterling University Scotland, a leading ageing research institute developed the ‘memoriana’ room concept.
‘memoriana’ is developed based on a systematic assessment of the experiences from everyday nursing care. The concept takes into account both the special needs of person living with dementia and the nursing care staff. The underlying idea is always based on three cornerstones of orientation, safety and independence, to provide the best possible support to the person in their daily life.
In nursing care facilities in Europe and Asia Pacific that deliver care based on the cornerstones of orientation, safety and independence, it is heartening to see a reduction of falls amongst the elders and caregiver burnout. With the autonomy and focus on enabling independence in persons living with dementia, this therapeutic concept has enabled them to age with dignity in a safe environment and clearly orientated environment."
In terms of design, creating a cozy, warm atmosphere that enables one to feel safe and protected, with a feeling of home is key. A typical room takes on the look and feel of a home or hotel and not like a nursing home.
The current Scandinavian furnishing trend is finding its way beyond our own living rooms. In nursing care, a good furnishing should feature a high level of functionality and cozy design as well as convenient usability and ergonomics, said Uwe.
Uwe also shared on the need to keep innovating product and services. As the industry and the needs in nursing care are constantly evolving, in order to stay ahead as a trendsetter in design and functionality, it is important to take into consideration the specific requirements in nursing care and analyse them in close cooperation with the relevant institutions and experts in the sector.