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Care home signage that meets the special needs of residents

Library glass poster sign

Signbox have recently completed the signage scheme for the new purpose-built Waypoints Verwood Care home in Dorset, developed by Archstone Lifestyle Homes. This included researching the special requirements for people with dementia, partial sight or blindness. Signbox’s approach reflects the latest developments in signs designed for the care home environment, including the use of innovative materials, images and graphics that recognise the special needs of disabled and mature residents – helping them to get around safely and with confidence.
 
Residents staying at the Waypoints Verwood Care home include many that are suffering from dementia; this creates a specific challenge in that such people can typically forget the names for things but remember what they look like. To address this, Signbox used photographic images that reflected the style of images and fashion in the period when these residents were young and growing up, and avoided contemporary typefaces and pictos.
 
Speaking about the Verwood project, Signbox’s Managing Director, Mark Bartlett, commented, “A clear outline is important, as is good contrast. People with dementia often lose colour perception and yellow is the last colour to go, so yellow and orange colours tend to predominate. They find looking at items against a very dark or white background ‘blurry’ and difficult so pale backgrounds are often used.
 
“People with dementia often have a stronger early memory, so the style of items that they recognise may be different from those in current usage. For example they may remember toilets as having chain-pulls to flush; very different to the type of toilets that they will actually encounter in daily life today, so to be effective the sign images used must reflect their past memory of things”.
 
Bartlett continues, “Archstone Lifestyle Homes have said that the signage systems we created have been highly effective, making life easier and more reassuring for the residents of this new care home”.