Evaluating the impact of environmental design on physical activity levels of individuals living with a dementia in residential accommodation
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The beneficial effects of physical activity on health care outcomes for aging populations, and more specifically for individuals living with a dementia, have been well established by international researchers across a range of disciplines and care settings. The benefits for individuals living with a dementia included improved daily functioning, sleep and mood, and decreased fears, disorientation, agitated pacing and restless circuiting (Weuve et a!. 2004; Zeisel 2006). Environmental design in residential accommodation was also recognised as an important therapeutic source to promote the well-being of older people, in particular individuals living with a dementia (Marshall 1998; Powell et a!. 2000). Environmental design enhanced cognitive and physical capacities of individuals living with a dementia (Parker eta!. 2004). It is therefore hypothesised that promoting physical activity levels among individuals living with a dementia in residential accommodation will improve their health care outcomes. The focus of this chapter is the findings from (i) observation charts used to measure physical activity levels of individuals living with a dementia and (ii) audits to evaluate the environmental design of residential accommodation. Other findings are reported elsewhere (de Vries, Traynor and Hum pel 20 1 0; Traynor and deVries 2009; Traynor, de Vries and Humpel 2009).