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Blueprint and House Model on Desk


TYPE: Design4Dementia  

COMPLETION: June 2018- August 2019

CATEGORY: Business Development /R&D   

CLIENT: Independent Research EcoSpex and Cauley & Associates, University of Waterloo Professor John Lewis

DESCRIPTION: Globally the age 60+ demographic is growing quickly and is expected to DOUBLE by 2050, growing from 12% to 21-23% of the world’s population. According to the World Health Organization, that age group is expected to double in just over 30 years. Over a fifth of the world population will be over 60. In Canada, by 2037, the population of seniors is expected to grow by 68%. The proportion over age 75 will DOUBLE. 

Building For The Dimentia Tsunami Graphic

Why undertake R&D for Designing for Dementia? Because Design matters  


“Design is about more than shaping the physical and built environment to counter the impairments which come with dementia.  It also represents significant changes to support regulations, standards, policies, practices and behaviours of professional staff and changing the way people with dementia are engaged within the environments in which they live”.  Age-related changes and impairments can make it more difficult to understand and navigate the built environment.   

The research and development involved a deep review of the Canadian market to include national organizations strategies, government, private care, developers and other not-for-profit models. Over 50 organizations were assessed for review how they were addressing the Dementia Tsunami, our assessment included topics to include: approaches, mandates, policies, market traction, tools, smart technology, projects, and best practices.  We also identified a number of Canadian roadblocks regarding the lack of design for the built environment regarding Dementia.  We compared our findings with global organizations capturing inspirations to how they are working on solutions for the built environment and its role in Dementia to include:  Netherlands, Australia, USA and the UK.  

Our research focused on the following:  

a) Provide outstanding research (evidence base)  

  •  “Find out what works, what doesn’t and why”

b) Leverage global innovation and expertise 

  • Leveraging innovative technology, tools & processes 

c) Evaluate various strategies/roadmap for the built environment by: 

  • Incorporate global best design (for dementia) principles and practices 

  • Provide an adaptable, progressive framework that drives building regulations, policies, accreditations and assessment tools.  

d) Review service offerings that can change lives immediately saving years of mistakes… successful business model.  

e) Shortlist international models that have proven results: adopting and adapting Global Best Practices and Innovation 

f) Understand the who’s  - identify partners that can champion this research for delivery  

Work Plan Validation Graphic

“Much is known about environments that empower and enable people living with dementia  yet this knowledge does not appear to be harnessed and utilized when new buildings are being designed and built,  with a tendency for architects and designers to start from scratch each time.”  


Our goal of this research is to inform, inspire and enable change in the built environment.  

Design for people with dementia–Why Design Matters

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