Designing for People with Dementia

A national service provided by Dementia Training Australia

Creating a dementia friendly environment can range from designing a new building to rearranging the furniture within your current building

A dementia friendly environment is enjoyable and meaningful, taking into account a person’s lifestyle, background and interests, as well as being familiar and recognisable. It should be based on key design principles that support people living with dementia.

Our award winning Designing for People with Dementia Service can help you create a dementia friendly environment.

What is the Designing for People with Dementia service?

We provide on-site education, assessment and advice to care managers and staff, project managers, designers and architects.

We can discuss how to use an existing environment more effectively, plan a new facility or refurbish an existing one. We work in acute, residential and community settings across Australia.

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Architect and author of the Dementia Design Principles Kirsty Bennett leads our team with a combined expertise that covers architecture, strategic planning, interior design, landscape architecture, nursing, OH&S and operational management.

We can come to you! Our service is national and will typically include a detailed discussion of evidence-based dementia design principles, and an assessment of your facility or plan, with recommendations for improvement.

This assessment can be a component of DTA Tailored Training Packages

How can I access the Designing for People with Dementia Service?

Our Designing for People with Dementia Service can be accessed within a Tailored Training Package (TTP) or separately.



This service may help your organisation meet the Aged Care Quality Standards:

Standard 1: Consumer dignity and choice

Standard 5: Organisation’s service environment*

Environment Design Resources

DTA’s Environmental Design Service handbook introduces the full suite of resources for the DTA Designing for People with Dementia Service

Dementia Friendly Design App, Environment Design, BEAT-D, DTA

The Built Environment Assessment Tool – Dementia (BEAT-D) will guide you through an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of buildings used to accommodate people with dementia

Environment Design Resources Handbook

This handbook consists of 6 resources, grouped together into a single document. Access each of the individual resources below.

10 Key Design Principles

These 10 principles are the culmination of more that 30 years of research and practice. They are the backbone of the Designing for People with Dementia service.

Provide a human scale

Allow people to see and be seen

Manage levels of Stimulation – Reduce unhelpful stimulation

Manage levels of Stimulation – Optimise helpful stimulation

Support movement and engagement

Create a familiar place

Provide a variety of places to be alone or with others – in the unit

Provide a variety of places to be alone or with others – in thecommunity

Design in response to vision for way of life

Contact the Designing for People with Dementia Service