Age-related changes and impairments can make it more difficult to understand and navigate the built environment. Impairments may include sensory, mobility or cognitive (or sometimes a combination) which can affect people’s functioning, behaviour, independence, and ultimately, quality of life.
By understanding such impairments, it is the first step toward creating an environment which supports the needs of older people and those with dementia. Appropriately designed environments can keep them safe from dangers, such as falls, and provide the freedom and confidence to use their abilities to the fullest.
Forbo Flooring have recognised the need to support clients who are creating environments which are supportive of people with dementia. The University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) and Forbo Flooring have worked closely over the past year to review over 1000 floor finishes and assess their suitability for use in a dementia-friendly environment.
The Forbo products have been rated through their design in relation to dementia design principles and their usability within a dementia supportive environment. This means that each product has been classed to identify the suitability of the product which will assist customers, specifiers and trades when selecting flooring options. Accredited products will be marked with a special DSDC accredited product logo.
Angus Fotheringhame, General Manager Benelux, UK & Ireland, at Forbo Flooring is delighted at the positive step forward in supporting an ageing population: “We are experts in flooring, not in dementia design, and it’s really important to us that we understand requirements of the end user to communicate to our clients what to use, and equally what not to use in age inclusive environments. Our collaboration with DSDC, the specialists in dementia design, enables us to understand the foundation of a dementia friendly environment, and offer a set of DSDC accredited products, which when used alongside appropriate interiors, can support the experience of the end user”.
It should be noted that the DSDC accredited product logo is awarded on the merit of the individual product and colourway, not the products final application. For an environment to be considered ‘dementia-inclusive’ or ‘dementia-friendly’, careful consideration must be given to the specification of adjoining finishes, their performance specification, and their suitability for their intended use.
You can find more information on Forbo’s DSDC accredited product range on their website.