Department of Health and Human Services

Dementia-Friendly Environments


This guide has been developed by Aged Care Branch, Victorian Department of Health, and is based on current research, knowledge and practical experience that might positively inform the building or renovation of residential aged care facilities.

Other documents that inform residential aged care are the Residential aged care services generic brief (pdf, 947kb) and the Residential aged care services built environment audit tool (currently being finalised).

The guide has specific suggestions for dementia-friendly care and should be used with other documents related to the building and renovation of aged care facilities. A growing portion of residents in aged care facilities have cognitive impairment. Dementia-friendly environments support those with cognitive impairment and older people generally.

The Victorian Department of Health acknowledges the work of the Centre for Applied Gerontology Northern Health and Sans Serif Editing and Publishing in the development of this guide.

Major contributions have been made by reference group members and workshop participants representing peak bodies such as Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Carers Victoria and Council on the Ageing; the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd; representatives of the building and related industries, including architects and landscape architects; aged care home service provider representatives, including Aged and Community Care Victoria — ACCV; and staff representatives. Contributions from people with dementia and their families and carers are especially acknowledged.

This guide will continue to develop as dementia care practice evolves with ongoing experience and research.