Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient

Departments

We're making our environment more dementia friendly

Friday 20 September

Ward 9 at Austin Health's Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital supports a large number of people with dementia, and works are about to commence next month to make the environment more dementia friendly.

"Hospital can be a distressing place for people with dementia and we're making it more safe, calm and more like home," says Divisional Manager of Aged Care Services, Erin Garner.

"We are making some practical changes, like be replacing floor coverings, to make them consistent throughout the ward," Erin says.

"For some people with dementia, a change in the colour or pattern of flooring can be very visually confusing. It can appear to them that they are stepping into a puddle of water, or into a hole for example, when flooring suddenly changes.

"By making the flooring throughout the ward one colour and surface, it will help patients with dementia to navigate their way around the ward with more confidence, independence, and potentially reduce their risk of falls."

Painting work and murals will also be used to create friendly, inviting spaces and acoustic panelling will be installed to reduce noise and distractions.