chapter  13
Familiar Design Helps Dementia Patients Cope
Pages 14

ThroughoutSwedentoday,experimentsarebeingcarriedoutwithnewtypesofcare forgeriatricpatients.Forinstance,peoplearetryingdaycare,wheretheelderlylive intheirownhomesbutcometogetherfortrainingandrecreationduringtheday,or nightcare,wherethepatientsspendthenightataclinicbutotherwiseliveintheir ownhomes.IntheKroksbackstudy(Kuller,1988a),weinvestigatedathird alternative:collectivehousingforpersonswithseniledementiainvolvingamoderate degreeofconfusion.Thestudycomprisedtwoexperimentalenvironments,one completelydesignedanddecoratedintraditionalstyleandtheotherdecoratedin acontemporary,moreinstitutionalstyle.Inaddition,acontrolgroupremainedata geriatrichospitalfortheentiretimeperiod.Patientswerestudiedfortwomonthsat thegeriatrichospital,andthenforanotherfourmonthsaftertheyhadmovedtothe twocollectivehousingunits.Followingthemove,achangeinspiritandbehavior occurredwithallthepatients;itastonishedeveryone.Othernotablechangeswere thediminisheduseofdiapersandsedativesandthedrasticchangeinprofessional attitudeamongthepersonnel.Foroldpatientswithseniledementia,collective housingseemsasgoodasolutionascanpossiblybefoundtoday.