Debbie de fiddes
Founder & CEO
For more than 25 years Debbie de Fiddes has been the CEO of de Fiddes Design and has extensive experience in design for aged care, dementia and retirement living. She is a dementia design specialist, consultant, researcher and educator who is involved in projects locally, nationally and internationally.
Debbie is passionate about creating beautiful environments incorporating supportive spaces that work well for residents, staff and visitors through evidence based design. She has extensive knowledge and understanding of the specific needs of our seniors including mobility, dementia, visual and hearing impairments – which are just some of the factors which need to be taken into consideration when designing in this specialised area.
Debbie established Design Guidelines for Dementia and Aged Care for the NSW Health Department and wrote numerous articles for publications, such as the Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Australian Ageing Agenda and Leading Age Services Australia’s Fusion Magazine and is the author of “Universal by Design”. Committed to being at the forefront of innovative design, knowledge and best practice, Debbie is a regular speaker at conferences both nationally and internationally including workshop events such as ‘Designing Dementia Friendly Healthcare Facilities’ with Professor Richard Fleming and Kirsty Bennett on behalf of DTSC, University of Wollongong.
In 2014 Debbie was approached by Alzheimer’s Australia to design and build an apartment suitable for a person living with dementia. ‘A Home for Life’ was created and was showcased at the International Alzheimer’s Conference held in Perth in April 2015. The design was so successful that it has now been featured in the Dementia Enabling Environments website: www.enablingenvironments.com.au/adapt-an-apartment.html.
Extensive travel enables Debbie to broaden her knowledge and to keep up to date with current and future trends in aged care and retirement living. Her recent trip established many connections including Stirling University in Scotland who are currently conducting further research on moving memories and air quality. Debbie travelled to Singapore in May 2018 to attend the Ageing Asia Forum and Eldercare Innovation Awards as our project at Amaroo Buckley Caring Centre is a finalist for the Best Silver Interior Design Awards.
To ensure the de Fiddes Design team are kept up to date Debbie facilitates monthly in house staff training sessions on the latest information regarding innovative design for dementia, together with the latest research and technology to ensure that her team is at the forefront of new ideas. Dedication to improving the lives of people as they age is paramount to Debbie’s success, along with fostering a team of talented, creative professionals who complement each other’s skills and work proficiently together in creating beautiful, enabling and safe environments for clients, residents and their visitors.