Department of Health and Human Services

Dementia-Friendly Environments

Colour action tool

Try the following exercise to see whether there is effective colour contrast. Alternatively, take photographs of different areas and print them in black and white.

Ask selected staff members to move around the facility looking through a piece of yellow cellophane and answer the following questions:

  • How well can I distinguish the floor from the walls?
  • Do I feel confident walking around at my normal speed?
  • Can I see important objects like chairs, doors, door handles, television, table tops, toilet seats, dinner plates, cutlery, steps and grab rails?
  • Do I know particular areas from the colours and patterns used, for instance dining room, lounge room, public toilet?
  • Is the main entrance door invisible?
  • Is it easy to find doors to outdoor garden spaces?
  • Are paths easy to see?
  • Am I able to walk at my normal speed outdoors?
  • Are there landmarks that help me walk about easily? Is colour a part of the landmark?
  • Are there particular colours I can see better than others?
  • Is glare a problem anywhere?
  • What effect does lighting have on what I can see?

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Colour action tool(pdf, 68kb)