University of Salford Manchester

Design for living: course explores different approach to dementia

Monday 19 May 2014

A new course has been launched by the University of Salford which focuses on life enhancing approaches to dementia and the design of environments which foster independence and quality of life.

There are around 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK and the number is set to double over the next 40 years. Worldwide, the number of people living with dementia is likely to treble by 2050, from 44 million to 135 million.

Poorly designed environments can confuse and disorientate people with dementia and create challenging situations. The new MSc Dementia: Care and the Enabling Environment explores how to make a positive difference through approaches to care, support and environments such as buildings, gardens, urban spaces and transport which have been designed or modified to support living with meaning and purpose.

The course will develop the skills and knowledge of students with a background in health and social care, the built environment, product design, urban planning, housing, prisons, leisure services, transport or hospitality.

It will be delivered by academics from the Salford Institute for Dementia, a new centre which is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with the condition.

The Institute is already having an impact and has reached the finals of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities Awards. The awards will be made during the charity’s Dementia Awareness Week (18-24 May), a national initiative to encourage people who are worried that they might have dementia, or know someone who may have dementia, to seek help and talk about it.

Professor Maggie Pearson, Dean of the College of Health & Social Care and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Public Benefit, said: “This is a unique Masters programme, which brings together a range of academic disciplines and expertise in philosophies of care and environmental design to equip practitioners to enable people with dementia to live as well as possible in enabling environments.

“It is a very exciting development within the Salford Institute for Dementia, and we look forward to welcoming students from a wide range of professional backgrounds to learn together, and from each other.”

The first intake of students will be in September.