News & Media

How can public spaces and buildings do more to support people with dementia?


This week, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia published a report on dementia and disability. The group’s inquiry found that although the condition is clearly recognised as a disability in law, there is more to do in all parts of life to uphold the rights of people with dementia.

Families taking part in the group’s research shared views on issues such as their experiences of being in public spaces and buildings, with comments such as: “You see wheelchair ramps almost everywhere, but dementia-friendly signage is almost non-existent.”

Through our network of buildings, we see lots of great work by the primary care teams and GP practices inside on being or becoming dementia-friendly practices, and to support patients with the condition. We’re currently testing ways to feed this through their physical infrastructure and gardens too. The report’s comments about public spaces and dementia-friendly signage are particularly striking for us: designing buildings to ensure they meet the needs not just of people with dementia, but also those of people with other conditions which impact how they experience public spaces, is a small step which could make a big difference to patients.

Claire Rick is our Head of Public Affairs