A Study Examines the Relationship Between the Physical Environment and Residents with Alzheimers Disease
What: /Researcher Christine Mobley, a lecturer at the Interior Design Department at Baylor University, recently conducted a study in order to better understand patterns of behavior in dementia patients and how these behaviors contribute to quality of life. Her findings include that certain flooring materials that cause glare inhibit residents' wayfinding abilities, patients find comfort in homelike settings that include typical kitchen arrangements, and that patients seem to find comfort in familiar activities such as cleaning. While her findings are limited to one building, they raise some interesting issues for supporting residents and imrpoving their quality of life.
Why:Mobley noticed that the perceptions of staff members were different from her own observations; she believes that this is because the staff is trained more in the medical model.
How: Mobley's study explored both qualitative and quantitative data gathered through personal observation, photographs, and staff surveys. She focused her research on a special care unit in the Rocky Mountain region. The design was a retrofit not specifically tailored to the needs of Alzheimers patients.