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Wayfinding

Spatial orientation can be a challenge for those with visual impairment and additional needs. Even for those unaffected by this, way-finding can be difficult, particularly for those new to a setting, or for visitors. Disorientation is common for residents with certain types of dementia, and may be experienced by other residents depending on their health and familiarity with the setting. To promote independence, reduce stress and help those with dementia, or visual impairment, care homes put great emphasis on way finding. Altro floors and walls can both be used to personalise spaces, create points of recognition and even artworks to give residents points of reference and trigger memory. It also makes life easier for visitors and staff!

Colour is one of the ways of helping with way finding. Different colours may be incorporated into way finding and orientation, triggering the memory and helping to create familiarity but it's important to remember that not everyone sees colour the same way, so this should be combined with other visual signs such as art or other landmarks where possible. We have developed shades to suit all tastes and practical considerations, plus, our walls and floors shades combine to look good, and offer the required contrast differences (see ‘the impact of light reflection’). Altro Whiterock Satins is available in 27 colours, and Altro Wood Safety in 20.

To see what your choice of solutions and colours could look like, see the Altro Space Visualiser.

Art can have a therapeutic effect on residents, can act as memory prompts for those with dementia and helps to make an area look less clinical and more homely. Altro Whiterock Digiclad can be used to create art without compromising on hygiene.

  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad enables photographic images to be used. These can act as memory prompts when wayfinding and designers have the flexibility to choose images that will work best with the residents. It can be used instead of traditional clinical signage
  • There should be a focus on images of nature and local reference points. These are proven to help trigger memories and calm, positive feelings

The inclusion of artwork can be beneficial for service users, staff and visitors; it can lend a special identity to spaces and a sense of locality (wayfinding). Users may be consulted when selecting artworks; pieces created by therapists and users could be incorporated in the building designs.