It is hoped the changes will create a calming, familiar environment which can help jog memories, reduce anxiety and distress.
Innovations range from a ‘memories pub’ to 1950s style ‘reminiscence rooms’ and a cinema booth where patients can watch old films.
For some patients with dementia, dark patterns on the floor could look like holes and handrails or toilet seats may be hard to identify if they are the same colour as background walls – which is why many hospitals are ensuring proper contrast between walls and flooring along with colour coding in patient bays and toilets.
Ageing well and caring for people with dementia are both key priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Emma Bould, Programme Partnership Manager at PIF member organisation Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We know that staying in hospital can be quite a stressful experience, especially for a person with dementia who may be more easily disorientated or confused.
“By making dementia-friendly adaptions to a hospital setting and creating familiar environments from the past, hospitals can be transformed into spaces that will give people with dementia a sense of independence, reduce anxiety and improve both mental and physical health.
“There are now 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and the numbers are continuing to rise.
“We welcome these steps to ensure dementia is a key priority for NHS England and would encourage more hospitals to consider how they can best support people with dementia to relax, recover and engage with the world around them by creating a more dementia-friendly environment.”