Thermal environments and comfort in dementia friendly dwellings

Oliver Kinnane, Tom Grey, Mark Dyer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    This study follows on from a research project that developed guidelines for the Universal Design (UD) of Dementia Friendly Dwellings for People with Dementia, their Families and Carers. Research findings point to the need for thermal environments that support people with dementia and do not provoke stress, agitation or anxiety. Using semi-structured interviews and qualitative analysis of people with dementia this paper aims to provide insight into the questions of appropriate thermal environments. The qualitative analysis is supported by example simulated indoor environment studies that investigate comfort in common thermal environment provision scenarios in the homes of people with dementia. This paper focuses on the thermal environment, its impact on people with dementia, its therapeutic value, and its role in encouraging engagement in every day activity.
    Findings from the interviews emphasize that control over their own internal environment is a priority for people with dementia. A strong preference for naturally or passively conditioned environments over mechanical conditioning is evident. Preferences are expressed for naturally ventilated environments enabling occupant instigated air movement. Repeated emphasis is placed on familiar elements including the fire and hot water bottle. Little desire is expressed for information feedback or technological displays.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMaking Comfort Relevant: Proceedings of 9th International Windsor Conference
    EditorsLuisa Brotas, Michael Humphreys, Fergus Nicol, Susan Roaf
    Place of PublicationWindsor, UK
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

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