Efforts are being made all over the world to incorporate dementia-friendly design aspects into facilities. But the new interactive digital wallpaper installed at an Australian rest home is thought to be a world first in dementia care.

The wallpaper is allows residents with dementia to participate in activities that are designed to support active engagement for people with dementia. Residents and visitors can pop bubbles, make swans dive and cockatoos fly, create snow angels and play games.

The wallpaper is featured at the Melaleuca Wing, the new dementia wing at Bolton Clarke Galleon Gardens, Currumbin Waters. The new wing incorporates international best practice dementia design principles including an outdoor living area with swings, a men’s shed and a retro caravan and a dynamic indoor environment including an open kitchen where residents can cook and enjoy social interactions.

Bolton Clarke Chairman Pat McIntosh said the wing was a wonderful example of how collaboration with residents, integrated technology and innovative thinking could create stimulating environments and improve wellbeing for aged care residents.

“The addition of this Interactive Digital Wallpaper is another example of how we look to other sectors to innovate, and it provides a space for people to engage with their surroundings,” he said.

“Exploring therapeutic technologies used in other sectors highlighted the benefits in applying the LUMES interactive digital wallpaper to the aged care environment. This installation is a world first collaboration in aged care.

“The wallpaper responds when you walk past and when you touch it. These interactions can be calming and therapeutic, will create moments in each day for residents, and can provide an outlet for communication for those who are nonverbal.”

Senior Strategist – Business Innovation Matiu Bush praised the digital wall concept, which was developed and installed in collaboration with media design studio ENESS.

“To make a day more succe​ssful f​or a resident with dementia, we need to create moments for them to engage,” says Bush. “Following the success of our virtual reality program launched earlier this year, the wall will provide residents with dementia to create a special moment in their day. For those who are non-verbal, it provides an opportunity to interact with tactile responses, allowing them to delight in shape and colour.”

Former Australian Olympic swim coach and resident Don Talbot cut the ribbon on the residential aged care community’s new dementia wing.

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