Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
How to design dementia-friendly outdoor areas in cities?
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
Dementia is a common disease that often affects older people, although some are affected already in their fifties, or even earlier. Dementia has grown to be of a worldwide major concern in public health issues. In different parts of the world, efforts are made to build cities in a more sustainable way, from the persons with dementia´s points of view, i.e. dementia-friendly environments. Of particular interest is that demented people who are staying outdoors in urban green areas seem to be affected in several positive ways; in fact, the disease can be slowed down, and everyday functions in dementia patients can be maintained for a longer time. That means large benefits for society and for the patients and their relatives. This project aims at increasing knowledge of how to create dementia friendly environments. We will develop a tool how to design outdoor environments for dementia patients. The project group consists of expertise from architecture, landscape architecture and medicine. The case is the Memory Clinic in Malmö and the adjacent urban park Beijers Park. This research involves pioneering work in evidence-based design to develop specific environmental qualities for use in designing therapy gardens and dementia friendly environments.