Dementia Inclusive Design of Hospital Spaces

Supporting Equity of Older People by Redefining and Refining Assessment of Dementia Inclusive Design of Hospital Spaces

Principal Investigator: Professor Desmond O’ Neill

Host Institution: Trinity College Dublin (TCD)


The aim of the research is to develop a new prototype Dementia Inclusive Hospital Design Audit Tool in line with HRB funded Dementia Friendly Hospitals guidelines, and undertake a repeat of the Irish National Audit of Dementia Care in Acute Hospitals (INAD) 2013 to test the new tool and assess changes carried out since 2013 to identify further improvements to address inequality and inequity for older people and patients with dementia in the hospital setting.


The objectives are to:

  1. Develop an audit tool that reflects the contemporary, collaborative and Universal Design (UD) based nature of the forthcoming Dementia Friendly Hospitals guidelines,
  2. Review the barriers/facilitators to key stakeholder engagement in the design process to inform the development of the new tool,
  3. Assess dementia-inclusive design changes in Irish hospitals since 2013 through a 2018 audit,
  4. Refine and calibrate the new tool and allow functionality analysis through comparisons with the INAD tool,
  5. Use findings to recommend improvements in equity of care for older Irish people with dementia and delirium.

The research project will inform the development of equitable healthcare design, policy and practice by promoting Universal Design as a process to address inequities and inequalities in the environment for people of all ages, sizes, abilities and disabilities, with a particular focus on older people and people with dementia.