Creating communities for all

Why safety flooring?

Guidance on designing for dementia

Colour and light reflectance value

Our solutions

Working with experts

Product recommendation

Case studies

Creating communities for all

Altro have worked in the healthcare sector for over 60 years and we understand the importance of environment, particularly in the growing area of dementia care. We are committed to helping develop the right surroundings for people with dementia and have worked with experts to do so. We can offer guidance whether you are building, refurbishing or developing dementia-friendly communities, ensuring you select the flooring and wall cladding that will help maximise quality of life, and meet legal requirements.

We are members of the Dementia Action Alliance and our guidance supports the design principles outlined in the Department of Health's Health Building Note 08-02, Dementia- friendly Health and Social Care Environments.
 

 

What is dementia?

The term describes a host of conditions associated with the gradual deterioration of the brain's functions. These can include problems with reasoning and communication, speed of thinking, comprehension, mental agility, memory loss and feelings of anxiety, depression or anger. Its causes are various brain diseases, the most well-known being Alzheimer's, which affects 62% of cases. Dementia is not simply part of the ageing process; it can be caused by changes to the brain structure and gradual damage to the brain cells.
 

Dementia and perception

The effects of dementia vary from person to person but there are common strands including

  • Disorientation
  • Confused perception of time
  • Confusion, anxiety and mood swings
  • Memory loss - particularly short-term
  • Difficulties in comprehending new things
  • Difficulties in speech
Loss of visual perception beyond the normal process of ageing is a common symptom. Any combination of the effects below* can make moving from one room to another harder, making a fall more likely. The effects can be lessened or heightened by the choice of flooring and wall cladding.
  • Less ability to discriminate textures
  • Shiny surfaces appearing wet
  • Patterned surfaces causing illusions
  • Dark surfaces and shadows appearing to be holes
  • Less ability to see depth and contrast
  • Difficulty identifying and describing different objects
  • Difficulty seeing in 3D - rooms appearing flat
  • Images from television appearing to be in the room

*as outlined by Liz Fuggle of Burnett Pollock Associates
Having safe, familiar surroundings that can be navigated easily reduces the impact of some symptoms, helping to avoid stress and prevent slips, trips or falls. Dementia friendly areas can help improve quality of life and the safety of those affected. Focussing on simple design principles can maximise resident independence, reinforce personal identity and enhance confidence. A non-clinical, homely look can make a big difference to everyone.

Designing for dementia and older people at a glance

  • Use matt, sparkle-free flooring
  • For areas with a very high or high risk of a slip, always choose flooring with a  PTV  ≥36, which offers a one in a million chance of slipping for the lifetime of the flooring with the contaminants you expect to find there. In wet environments, avoid overly textured flooring that could hurt sensitive bare feet
  • Avoid steps or the misperception of steps due to reflection or patterns in general areas that those with dementia may negotiate alone
  • Avoid lighting which alters the appearance of the floor finish, for example, making it appear wet
  • Use flooring and wall solutions to create a calm, welcoming, homely appearance
  • Use art to aid familiarity and help with way-finding as well as make people feel welcome, offering a pleasant and enjoyable stay
  • Ensure the colours of walls, doors, floors and ceilings contrast to demark them unless trying to conceal an entrance, for example, to a service corridor or kitchen
  • Ensure the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) of walls, flooring and any other critical surfaces, differs by at least 30 points
  • Consider few colours in one area to avoid creating confusing surroundings
  • Consider a hygienic, impervious system such as Altro Aquarius and Altro Whiterock Satins for wet environments, or Altro Stronghold 30 and Altro Whiterock White or Altro Whiterock Satins for kitchens

The UK perspective

Dementia 2015: Aiming higher to transform lives, a study published by Alzheimer's Society, reports that the number of people with dementia in the UK has reached 850,000. Assuming no public health intervention, this number will be over 2 million by 2051.

The report puts the cost of caring for people with dementia in the UK at £26.3 billion.

Health and residential care

In the UK, 38% of the people with dementia live in residential care or nursing homes and up to 70% of care home residents in the UK have dementia or significant memory loss.

It is estimated that the primary residence of at least 8,500 people is a hospital. A 2009 report by Alzheimer's Society put the number of hospital beds occupied by people with dementia at 25%, a figure that it likely to have increased.

The figures show how vital it is for hospital and care homes to have dementia friendly surroundings, easing the effect of symptoms for those affected and helping to make their care easier for staff.

Why safety flooring?

Minimising slip risk

In addition to the stress that confusion due to unfamiliar and unsafe surroundings can cause people living with dementia, there is also a real risk that this will result in a slip or fall.

For the elderly or frail, a simple trip can have catastrophic and life-changing effects, which makes fall prevention measures vitally important.

The effects of falling for an older person can be devastating. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) figures show that falls cost the NHS £2.3 billion per year and, according to Age UK, falls and fractures in people aged 65 and over account for over 4 million hospital bed days each year in England. Age UK's report, Facts about falls, states that 10% of hip-fracture patients will die within one month of their fracture and 30 per cent will die within a year.

Age-related changes to our sense of sight include the loss of peripheral vision, colour vision changes, problems with glare and nearer images being blurred. This can mean that poor lighting or badly chosen flooring can be a real danger. For this reason, we recommend that in addition to choosing the right flooring products, consider lighting, handrails and other safety features, along with good housekeeping, to remove hazards and ensure best performance.

Slip resistance for life

Areas of a care home or hospital environment that carry a very high or high risk of a slip require specialist flooring, but it's not always easy to choose the most appropriate one. It should have a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of ≥36, which offers a one in a million chance of slipping for the lifetime of the flooring. Durability is important too: Think about scuffing and other damage that can be caused by wheelchairs, walking sticks or other walking aids, and choose flooring that is up to the task.

Altro safety flooring also comes with a guarantee of between 10 and 20 years, and lifetime sustained slip resistance of up to 25 years. It also contains Altro Easyclean technology, making cleaning easier and more effective, helping the flooring perform as it should and retain its appearance.

For practical guidance on which flooring to install, see our product guide.

 

Guidance on designing for dementia

Health Building Note (HBN) 08-02, dementia-friendly health and social care environments (March 2015), published by the Department of Health outlines design principles and features to aid the design of new builds or redevelopments. The design principles incorporate expert research and guidance from the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at the University of Stirling and the King's Fund amongst others.
 

01
Provide a safe environment. It should be safe, secure and easy to move around
02
Provide optimum levels of stimulation.
03
Provide optimum lighting and contrast
04
Provide a non-institutional scale and environment
05
Support orientation
06
Support way-finding and navigation.
07
Provide access to nature and the outdoors
08
Promote engagement with friends, relatives and staff
09
Provide good visibility and visual access
10
Promote privacy, dignity and independence
11
Promote physical and meaningful activities
12
Support diet, nutrition and hydration

Principle 1: Provide a safe environment. It should be safe, secure and easy to move around

This is an over-arching principle that includes the following guidance:

  • Use of slip-resistant, matt finished flooring with no patterns or shadows.

To those with dementia, highly-polished, shiny flooring can appear wet, causing uncertainty and confusion; instead, the flooring should be matt. We also recommend flooring that is sparkle-free and without a heavy pattern, as these can cause distraction or look like something to pick up, which could result in a fall. We have a wide range of plain, matt flooring options to help avoid this. See our product guide for more information.

  • Orientation and way-finding cues to reduce the risk of getting lost and disoriented
  • Design features that reduce infection risks

Our safety flooring contains Altro Easyclean technology, making cleaning easier and more effective. It is impervious, preventing water ingress and avoiding trapping bacteria and associated odours. In addition, Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding is impervious, stain-resistant and wipe-clean, giving dirt nowhere to hide and making cleaning straight-forward. Together, Altro Whiterock and Altro resilient flooring offer an integrated system ideal for areas where hygiene matters.

Principle 2: Provide optimum levels of stimulation

Excessive sensory deprivation can have a negative impact. It is however the case that multiple types and levels of stimulation can be difficult to deal with.

  • Avoid over-patterned walls and general clutter

Using wall cladding such as Altro Whiterock Satins, which is available in a range of colours, helps create a homely, non-clinical look without the need for a pattern, plus it is durable and easy to clean.

Principle 3: Provide optimum lighting and contrast

  • The HBN offers guidance on providing the correct levels of light for people facing dementia and age-related challenges

In our experience natural daylight is preferable as harsh lighting and some LED lights can create false impressions about the environment such as the perception that the flooring is wet when it isn’t, resulting in uncertainty and possibly falls. Choosing sparkle-free flooring helps avoid this; we offer a wide range of sparkle-free options across our product portfolio. Please speak to your Altro consultant if you need guidance.

Principle 4: Provide a non-institutional scale and environment

When long-term care or hospital care is required, therapeutic environments should be as un-institutional as possible. Areas to consider include:

  • Avoid long corridors of institutional character
  • Support daily activities and interior décor that support the function of a room.

An example could be using images of food, crockery and cutlery in Altro Whiterock Digiclad to highlight the dining room

  • Support quality of life by introducing non-institutional interior design, decoration and art works.

Have a look at our Altro Whiterock Digiclad page to find out more.

  • Dementia-friendly health and social care environments should include small scale, homely and welcoming lounges and day rooms to reduce over-stimulation

Using a wood-look floor, such as Altro Wood Safety, can create a warm, homely feel that stands apart from a clinical environment. Its 16 shades can combine with a variety of Altro Whiterock Satins shades for a complete solution.

Principle 5: Support orientation

Internal landmarks including artwork and items that give positive emotions while supporting orientation. These should be placed in a highly visible way, supported by light and colour contrast. 

Principle 6: Support way-finding and navigation.

Impaired spatial orientation in people living with dementia is frequently reported. The reduced ability of people with dementia to reach desired destinations (way-finding) on a daily basis affects their personal autonomy and quality of life. Spatial orientation should thus be considered a basic psychological need.

  • Avoid long corridors; monotony and uniform architectural composition create repetitive environments.
  • Introduce noticeable landmarks that might have special meaning to users and can be used as reference points

Clever use of wall cladding or wall protection  can ensure that corridors are not repetitive and can provide a contrast between wall and floor. Colour-coding and use of images on the wall can greatly help with way-finding and familiarity.

Principle 7: Provide access to nature and the outdoors

To encourage movement into outdoor areas,  Altro doorsets are available in a range of colours to create a contrast with the wall so that the door is easy to find. The door could be faced with Altro Whiterock Digiclad, using images to help users recall that the exit leads outside.

Principle 8: Promote engagement with friends, relatives and staff

  • Dementia-friendly environments should blend with existing buildings and not stand out as ‘special’ units.
  • Spaces should enable residents and visitors to use internal and external environments. These should be attractive, comfortable and encourage visitors to spend time and engage in meaningful activities, such as gardening.

Using complementary, warm colours, particularly wood shades  may help reduce the anxiety that a clinical environment can cause and create visual harmony with the rest of the building.

Principle 9: Provide good visibility and visual access


Help people with dementia make choices and find where they want to go, by making key places, such as a lounge, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and outdoor areas easily identifiable.

Principle 10: Promote privacy, dignity and independence

To help achieve this, considerations for dementia-friendly health and social care environments include

  • Helping people maintain independence by using familiar building design, furniture, fittings and colours

Altro Whiterock Digiclad can be used to personalise spaces and demark areas to create familiarity

  • Wet rooms that make bathing a safer and less intrusive activity

Altro Aquarius provides optimum lifetime sustained slip-resistance in wet and dry environments and whether a resident or staff member is wearing shoes or barefoot. Developed without a bobbled surface, it feels smoother to sensitive feet but its profile still feels reassuringly safe, helping to allay fears of slipping, plus it’s easier to clean.

  • Activity areas for reminiscence which can improve mood and wellbeing, and promote social inclusion and the person as an individual with a unique life experience

Principle 11: Promote physical and meaningful activities


Have an interior design that is non-institutional and stimulates interaction.

Principle 12: Support diet, nutrition and hydration

Environments should include dining rooms with family-style layout and interior design.

Colour and light reflectance value

Colour plays an important role when designing for older people or those with dementia. It affects both mood and way-finding. Contrast sensitivity is a common visual issue, making clear, high-level contrast one of the most important factors in designing for dementia.

What works?

  • The red/yellow end of the spectrum is easier to identify
  • The colour of walls, floors, doors and ceilings needs to contrast
  • 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
  • Colour can be used to encourage or discourage movement into certain areas. Using flooring with very different LRVs creates a visual barriere, for example, Altro Walkway 20/VM20 in Arena (LRV:41) could be installed in a dining room, with Altro Stronghold 30 in Velvet (LRV: 8) could be put in an adjacent kitchen. The difference in LRV is more than 30 points, making it clearer that it's a different room and discourage movement into the kitchen.
  • An example of shades with similar LRVs that can run through, avoiding hesitation or misperception of a step, is Altro Aquarius in Coral Crab (LRV: 14) and Altro Wood Safety in Seasoned Cherry (LRV: 15).
  • Brighter colours may be used to emphasise more important areas of a room, supported by colour contrast and more light than normally required

HBN 02-08 guidance on colour includes

  • Use different colour schemes between clinical and non-clinical areas (supports P4)
  • Choose colours that are visible to the eye of people living with dementia (supports P6)
  • Consider visual impairments and light reflectance when selecting the colour palette for specific areas (supports P9)
  • Use colour accents that promote appetite (supports P12)
  • For walls, colours in the red to yellow zone are more easily identifiable than blues and greens. Soft white works well as a base colour

The impact of light reflection

Subtle differences between floors, walls, steps and doorways can cause enough uncertainty to result in a fall. While colour choice is important here, it is the amount of light reflected from surfaces that is the main factor in determining a person's ability to identify different surfaces.
Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) are the best way to measure contrast. Every material has an LRV marked out of 100 points. To meet requirements, there should be at least a 30 point variance in LRVs between adjacent surfaces such as floors and walls. Since the Equality Act of 2010, this is a legal requirement.

Where different types of flooring are used alongside each other and there is no step between them, it's equally important to ensure that the LRVs of the materials are as similar as possible to avoid creating the illusion of a step. That means threshold strips should also blend with the flooring. There are real benefits to choosing flooring, such as Altro Wood Safety , that's versatile enough to be used throughout a wide area to avoid these difficulties, as well as look homely. For different flooring solutions with similar LRVs and shades, see here.

Our flooring and wall cladding are available in many shades but, importantly, we offer a wide variety in LRVs which ensures there is choice whether choosing solutions to contrast with, or match, existing decor, or installing both new flooring and wall cladding.

For guidance on products and LRVs, see our product guide or contact us to discuss your project.
 

Flooring that supports confident, safe movement

To ensure people with dementia are more comfortable with moving from one area to another, it can be preferable to install flooring with similar LRVs and shades throughout key areas. We offer a number of flooring solutions that allow this, encouraging more confident movement but minimising the risk of slips by offering the right solution for the right area. This is particularly important when moving from a bedroom or corridor into a bathroom. Our combination shades can also be matched easily with those offered by leading carpet providers although we would not recommend the use of carpet due to the hygiene challenges they create.

The following examples show shades of Altro safety flooring that share similar LRVs, meaning they can be used side-by-side as required.
 

  • Option 1
  • Altro Walkway 20: Temple
  • Altro Aquarius: Walrus
  •  
  •  
  • Option 2
  • Altro Walkway 20 : Arena
  • Altro Wood Safety: Bleached Oak
  • Altro Aquarius: Sea Snail
  •  
  • Option 3
  • Altro Wood Safety: Farmhouse Oak
  • Altro Walkway 20: Minster
  • Altro Aquarius: Terrapin
  •  
  • Option 4
  • Altro Walkway 20: Stream
  • Altro Wood Safety: Vintage Cherry
  • Altro Wood Safety: Autumn Maple
  •  
  • Option 5
  • Altro Aquarius: Coral Crab
  • Altro Wood Safety: Seasoned Cherry
  • Altro Walkway 20: Pitch
  • Altro Walkway 20: Pavement
  • Option 6
  • Altro Walkway 20: Runway
  • Altro Aquarius: Newt
  • Altro Wood Safety: Oak Riche
  •  

Our solutions

Developing flooring and walling appropriate for those with dementia has been a focus for us for a number of years. We take pride in understanding what solutions are needed and providing choices to make environments homely and modern as well as functional, but you can rest assured that our flooring also supports the guidance outlined in HBN 08-02.

Click each box to read more

Flooring for dementia
Materials
Finishes
Walls
Doors

Flooring for dementia

The HBN guidance includes the following:

  • use a matt, non-patterned and seamless flooring (supports P1)

To those with dementia, high-polished, shiny flooring can appear to be wet, causing uncertainty and confusion; instead flooring should be matt. We also recommend flooring that is sparkle-free and without a heavy pattern as this can cause distraction or look like something to pick up, which could result in a fall. This was a major driver for us at Altro when we developed the first safety floors without sparkle some years ago. There is now a wide range of colours and finishes, including bold, bright and light colours. These all help to create a comfortable feel whilst not compromising on safety.

  • avoid steps or misperception of steps (supports P1)
  • use consistent flooring materials and finishes across individual, public, activity and circulation spaces. (supports P2)

We offer a number of flooring and wall solutions and many colour options. As using consistent materials across spaces that residents and visitors cross is advised, please contact us for guidance on product and shade selection, or see our flooring that supports confident, safe movement section above.

  • ensure lighting, cleaning and maintenance do not alter the desired appearance of floor finishes (supports P3)
  • use non-institutional flooring solutions in non-functional rooms (supports P4) 
    See Altro Wood Safety
  • Use materials, finishes and colours consistently to differentiate room and space function (supports P6). See product guide below
  • Ensure consistent flooring colours and solutions in indoor and outdoor spaces (supports P11)

Materials

  • acoustic materials should be used to reduce noise levels through insulating layers

All our flooring is available with an acoustic underlay. This allows a reduction in noise that’s beneficial to staff as well as residents.

  • Flooring solutions should take into account the movement of trolleys, wheelchairs and beds

The durability of our 2.5mm safety flooring, which has guarantees of up to 20 years, stands up to the everyday traffic found within healthcare

  • bespoke materials designed to reduce glare and subtle patterns can improve way-finding and independence, with a consequent reduction in anxiety and distress

Finishes

  • Matt flooring finishes can promote movement and independence

We offer a range of flooring with matt finishes, such as Altro Wood Safety, ensuring there is plenty of choice for new-builds or refurbishments, or to fit with existing décor. Additionally, Altro Aquarius has a smoother profile than many wet environments’ flooring. Rough finishes can hurt feet, particularly amongst older people. Altro Aquarius allows for a shuffling movement while preventing slips in a potentially risky environment.

  • non-slip finishes that support easy rotation, turning, forward and reverse wheelchair movement should be applied

Vinyl safety flooring provides a good surface for wheelchairs and walking aids and can be laid on ramps.

Walls

We have offered wall cladding solutions for over 30 years. In that time we have developed solutions that offer effective hygiene and wall protection for the healthcare sector, including those appropriate for people with dementia and older people.

According to HBN 08-02, wall finishes appropriate for those living with dementia include:

  • using matt and anti-glare finishes (supports P3)

Altro wall cladding can help achieve an appropriate wall finish; Altro Whiterock Satins has a low-gloss finish

  • using non-institutional materials, finishes and colours (supports P4)

Altro wall cladding is available in a wide range of shades suitable for a homely feel, if a more clinical look is needed, or when matching existing décor to create dementia-friendly areas.

  • use wall finishes and colours consistently across the space (supports P5)
  • Introduce bed head colours and feature walls appropriately (supports P1)

Altro Whiterock Satins can be cut to create effective bed heads that protect the wall, but can match interior décor

 

With Altro Whiterock Digiclad you can create unique, stunning artworks with exceptional durability. It features photographic images of your choice, protected by hard-coat technology which provides scratch-resistance. These images can be chosen to appeal to residents, from local landscapes to popular culture and can be both aesthetic and functional.

It can be used to cover entire walls, creating large, impactful areas, or in smaller areas to create interest and make the environment appear less clinical. It can also help with way-finding for example, food images in a dining room.

Altro Whiterock Digiclad is an ideal solution for creating appropriate surroundings for those with dementia, and older people.

To ensure you achieve the right LRV when designing with Altro Whiterock Digiclad, please speak with your Altro consultant who will be able to help

 

The HBN guidance for art includes the following:

  • use scenes of natural landscapes, local heritage and elements of interest to the people who are likely to access the facility
  • locate artworks where people need to make decisions about which way to go. Train caregivers to use these as orientation cues
  • Place artwork to support conversation where people gather
  • Select types of artwork and choose specific themes to help recall memories of food and drink
  • Graphic artwork can help create an individual identity for each space, ward, bedroom and bed bay; and help with navigation through corridors, entrances and communal areas

Doors

The HBN guidance includes the following:

  • use colour-coded doors or doorframes to differentiate and improve visibility, in combination with doors that blend in, to hide.

Altro doorsets offer protection and hygiene as needed. Available in a variety of shades, they offer design flexibility, allowing you to match wall cladding, helping to hide the doorway and discourage entry. They can also be used to create a complete contrast, making the doorway stand out and encourage use.

  • wood and wood-effect finishes should be used where possible to help create a non-institutional feel. Vinyl finishes and/or laminates applied to doors can be an efficient, cost-effective refurbishment solution rather than installing new doors.
  • bold colour-coded door protection can be used either half-height or full height, in a consistent arrangement throughout the entire building if possible

Working with experts

To make sure our products continue to offer those designing for dementia a choice of suitable, practical and effective solutions, we have worked with a number of industry experts.

 

The Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC)

We worked with the University of Stirling's renowned Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) when developing new shades of Altro Aquarius to ensure carers and those with dementia can be safer in wet environments.

The Dementia Services Development Centre's Dementia Design Audit Tool contains a series of resources for carrying out self-assessment of environments that are used by people with dementia. It is suitable for refurbishment projects or new buildings and is relevant across a range of settings including day centres, wards, care homes and medical centres. The design audit tool will help identify areas for improvement and can be used to prepare for the formal design audit certificate process. To learn more about The Dementia Services Development Centre, arrange a tour, or find out more about their DSDC Dementia Design Audit Tool and a range of design consultancy services, please visit dementia.stir.ac.uk.

Follow the link to read Liz Fuggle's article, 'How interior design can help compensate for dementia and improve quality of life for those living with it'.
 

Dementia-friendly communities

As dementia affects more people, dementia-friendly installations across communities, rather than just health and social care, will be needed.
In its report, Dementia 2015: Aiming higher to transform lives*, Alzheimer's Society recommended 8 actions that will ensure people affected by dementia can live well with the condition.

Action 7: Drive forward dementia-friendly communities

This action was included in the dementia challenge, launched in 2012 by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron. It stands alongside driving improvements in health and care and improving dementia research. It has been driven forward by Alzheimer's Society and Public Health England and resulted in the development of Dementia Friends, a network of volunteers who help dementia friendly communities. There are now over one million Dementia Friends in the UK and 105 communities working towards being dementia friendly.

Alzheimer's Society, working with the British Standards Institution (BSI), launched a consultation on a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) which takes the form of a code of practice for communities working towards becoming dementia friendly at Alzheimer's Society annual conference in July 2014. Copies of the PAS can be obtained through enquiry at the Alzheimer's Society website form.

With an original target of 20 Dementia-Friendly Communities by March 2015, Alzheimer's Society now have over 115 registered communities and an ambition set out in the Prime Minister's Challenge 2020 of at least 50% of people living in dementia-friendly communities by the end of 2020.

This work shows that designing for dementia is becoming a necessary part of planning, whatever the project.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has developed Dementia Without Walls, a three year initiative to empower people with dementia, help develop dementia-friendly communities and encourage different thinking around dementia. It funded a project across Yorkshire, covering public places from cafés and libraries to hospitals and sports centres, including its Airedale General Hospital. Evaluations of the project are now available on the Joseph Rowntree website.
 

"In this time of ever increasing regulation and legislation it is essential that architects have access to sound and reliable information on construction products. Altro have taken enormous time and trouble to research the vital data that architects need in order to be able to specify flooring materials and wall finishes with confidence. Being able to select the most appropriate material and finish for a wide variety of uses and situations gives architects and other specifiers the opportunity to design beautiful buildings and spaces in the comforting knowledge that they have complied fully with their health, safety and infection control responsibilities. Building needs are wide and varied and the particular issues that need to be taken into account in the design of the internal environment for people with dementia are often neglected. Altro have sought to create a range of products to address these specific needs."
Richard Pollock Burnett
Pollock Associates, Architects, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling

Product recommendation

Click an area in the floor plan

Treatment room

Altro Whiterock Digiclad to create non-clinical and calming surroundings

Community rooms and living areas

Altro Wood Safety Farmhouse Oak LRV 38

Altro Whiterock Digiclad and Altro Whiterock Satins to create pleasant, relaxing surroundings

W.C.

Altro Suprema Oatmeal LRV 38

Altro Whiterock Satins Linen LRV 83

Administration

Altro Wood Safety Washed Oak LRV 38

Altro Whiterock Satins Malva LRV 68

Altro Doorset in same colour as wall to discourage entrance

Laundry

Altro Unity Stream LRV 22

Altro Fortis Titanium Riviera LRV 64

Pool and changing room

Altro Aquarius Vole LRV 43

Altro Whiterock Satins Linen LRV 83

Service corridor

Altro Designer 25 Midnight LRV 11

Altro Fortis Titanium Riviera LRV 64

Kitchen

Altro Whiterock White LRV 89

Altro Stronghold 30 Russet LRV 14

Contrast with flooring in adjacent areas to discourage entrance. Altro Stronghold 30 offers our highest rating for slip resistance (PTV ≥55), minimising risk in wet and greasy conditions

Dining area

Altro Suprema Oatmeal LRV 38

Altro Whiterock Digiclad

Outdoor area

Flooring chosen to match LRV in adjacent indoor area

Activity area

Altro Suprema Oatmeal LRV 38

Altro Whiterock Splashbacks Juicy Lucy LRV 20

Corridor

Altro Whiterock Digiclad

Help with way-finding and familiarity

Ensuite bathroom

Altro Aquarius Vole LRV 43

Altro Whiterock Satins Linen LRV 83

Bedroom

Altro Wood Safety Farmhouse Oak LRV 38

Can feature bedhead in  Altro Whiterock Satins Citron LRV 80

The beauty of choosing Altro when designing for dementia is that we offer both safety flooring and wall cladding for every type of room, in a huge variety of shades. Below are some examples of the Altro solutions and colour combinations that you may want to consider. To discuss any specific requirements, please just give us a call.

 

1
Dining room
  • Robust slip-resistance
  • Durability
  • Colour accents such, as reds and orange, that promote appetite
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Glow 215 LRV: 50
  • Oyster 32 LRV: 70
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety:
    Pendulum Test Value (PTV)≥36
Recommended shades
  • Century Oak WSA2012 LRV: 8
2
Bedrooms
  • Creating a homely look
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Daybreak 222 LRV: 69
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety
Recommended shades
  • Urban Cherry WSA2003 LRV: 17
3
Bathrooms

With carers often assisting in these areas, we recommend flooring developed for preventing slips in wet and dry areas, for shoe and barefoot use.

Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
Recommended shades
  • Viola 214 LRV: 13
Flooring
  • Altro Aquarius: PTV ≥50
Recommended shades
  • Gosling AQI2023 LRV: 59
4
Sitting/day room
  • Creating a homely, comforting look
  • Slip resistance to protect against spillages
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Citron 56 LRV: 80
  • Clarity 207 LRV: 64
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety
  • Altro Walkway 20
Recommended shades
  • Antique Walnut WSA2007 LRV: 15
  • Pitch VM2020P LRV: 5
5
Stairs
  • Slip resistance
  • Way finding
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
Recommended shades
  • Flint 201 LRV: 32
Flooring
  • Altro Walkway 20
Recommended shades
  • Runway VM2006P LRV: 9
6
Activity area
  • Creating a homely, comforting look
  • Slip resistance to protect against spillages
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Oyster 32 LRV: 70
  • Malva 57 LRV: 68
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety
  • Altro Walkway 20
Recommended shades
  • Oak Riche WSA2014 LRV: 10
  • Temple VM2009P LRV: 27
7
Commercial kitchen
The need to discourage patients to enter
High-level slip resistance across range of contaminants
Ease of cleaning
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock White
Recommended shades
  • White W103-W104 LRV: 89
Flooring
  • Altro Stronghold 30: PTV ≥55
Recommended shades
  • Altro Stronghold 30 includes shades with low enough LRVs to match Altro Whiterock White. To discourage patients to enter the kitchen, consider a shade with a very different LRV to the adjacent flooring, creating a visual barrier.
8
Treatment rooms
  • The need to be warm/comforting
  • Cleanability
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Promenade 212 LRV: 32
Flooring
  • Altro Walkway 20
Recommended shades
  • Swan VMI2012P LRV: 75
9
Entrance/reception area
  • Creating a homely look
  • Slip resistance
  • Cleanability
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Linen 41 LRV: 83
  • Mint 203 LRV: 62
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety: PTV ≥36
  • Altro Walkway 20
Recommended shades
  • Oak Traditions WSA2013 LRV: 25
  • Mallard VMI2013P LRV: 13
10
Corridors
  • Opportunities to help with way-finding
  • Durability
  • Need for wall protection
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Fawn 206 LRV: 41
  • Linen 41 LRV: 83
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety
  • Altro Walkway 20
Recommended shades
  • Century Oak WAS2012 LRV: 8
  • Stream VM2001P LRV: 22
11
Wards
  • Non-clinical look
  • Cleanability
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
Recommended shades
  • Citron 56 LRV: 80
Flooring
  • Altro Walkway 20: PTV≥36
Recommended shades
  • Gallery VM2011P LRV: 10
12
Waiting area
  • The need to be warm/comforting
Wall cladding
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
Recommended shades
  • Scarlet 221 LRV: 13: 
Flooring
  • Altro Wood Safety
  • Altro Walkway20
Recommended shades
  • Bleached Oak WSA2001 LRV: 52
  • Arena VM2019P
13
Exits/entrances
  • Way finding
Wall cladding
  • Use Altro Whiterock Satins around doorframes to highlight exits and entrances.
Recommended shades
  • The shade should contrast with that used in the rest of the room.
 
 

Cleaning and maintenance

A cleaning regime is vital in maintaining flooring performance and ensuring safety flooring does its job in preventing slips, trips and falls.

To maximise safety, consider some of the simple things that can be very effective. Install barrier matting at all entrances to keep wet and dirty floors to a minimum. Keep things neat and tidy to avoid trip hazards. And consider giving advice to residents about suitable footwear; Age UK identifies unsuitable footwear as one of the major causes of slips and trips for older people.

It is recommended that cleaning in locations such as corridors is carried out lengthways, half at a time, to enable people to still access a dry half of the corridor. There is always a risk, however, that people will step onto a wet area, despite best efforts to section it off until dry; therefore, we would recommend safety flooring to enable free movement, even on a wet floor.

For more information on cleaning safety flooring, please visit our dedicated cleaning section which features downloadable guides to manual, mechanical and steam cleaning. We also offer guidance on effective cleaning for Altro wall cladding.
 

 

 

Case studies

We have worked with customers across the globe to create environments suitable for older people and those with dementia. If your project has specific requirements, we can help you find the right solutions; just give us a call.