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The Physical Environment of Nursing Homes for People with Dementia: Traditional Nursing Homes, Small-Scale Living Facilities, and Green Care Farms

1
Department of Health Services Research, Care and Public Health Research Institute, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
2
Opera Consultancy and Implementation, 5026 RK Tilburg, The Netherlands
3
Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Program on Aging, 3521 VS Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2018, 6(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6040137
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creating Age-friendly Communities: Housing and Technology)
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Abstract

It is well recognized that the physical environment is important for the well-being of people with dementia. This influences developments within the nursing home care sector where there is an increasing interest in supporting person-centered care by using the physical environment. Innovations in nursing home design often focus on small-scale and homelike care environments. This study investigated: (1) the physical environment of different types of nursing homes, comparing traditional nursing homes with small-scale living facilities and green care farms; and (2) how the physical environment was being used in practice in terms of the location, engagement and social interaction of residents. Two observational studies were carried out. Results indicate that the physical environment of small-scale living facilities for people with dementia has the potential to be beneficial for resident’s daily life. However, having a potentially beneficial physical environment did not automatically lead to an optimal use of this environment, as some areas of a nursing home (e.g., outdoor areas) were not utilized. This study emphasizes the importance of nursing staff that provides residents with meaningful activities and stimulates residents to be active and use the physical environment to its full extent. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical environment/space; nursing homes; small-scale living; green care farms; engagement; social interaction physical environment/space; nursing homes; small-scale living; green care farms; engagement; social interaction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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De Boer, B.; Beerens, H.C.; Katterbach, M.A.; Viduka, M.; Willemse, B.M.; Verbeek, H. The Physical Environment of Nursing Homes for People with Dementia: Traditional Nursing Homes, Small-Scale Living Facilities, and Green Care Farms. Healthcare 2018, 6, 137.

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