The importance of wayfinding for retirement villages

Wayfinding – absolutely essential in Residential Aged Care but all too often neglected in Retirement Villages.  As the average age of a Retirement Village resident is 78-80, wayfinding is just as important in that environment.

Recently I came across a study conducted by the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute called “The orientation experiences and design preferences of residents living in a retirement development by (Mary O’Malley, Anthea Innes, Sarah Muir and Jan M Wiener) This study confirmed that wayfinding was certainly an issue in retirement villages and concluded by saying “avoiding unnecessary circulation areas, repetitive layouts and ensuring apartments are close enough in proximity to communal spaces is vital when considering the structural build and floorplan of the environment.  It is important to create environments with distinctive environmental cues that have semantic meaning and relevance to the residents.  Appropriate landmarks (e.g. well known pictures) stimulated conversation and as a result became more memorable and useful for navigation.” 

We look forward to the paper being published very soon. The paper will be available for viewing on our blog.