Questions about colour


Dear Dementia Care Australia.

I am researching for a Quality Improvement project proposal, undertaken for a uni study unit, and for my workplace. I am a RN 1, employed in a residential aged person’s mental health facility. Our building is brand new and my impression is that the building is not purpose built for aged care.

I have been researching lighting, tonal contrasts, and environment and I am looking for information on how design affects daily living, how staff and residents use spaces and innovations that we can adopt in existing spaces.

Our building caters for 45 residents with three identical wings that share a central common lounge/dining area. The common area is noisy and all the units have same colour scheme. Even all the doors are the same colour.

If you can help me with pertinent references, I would be very grateful. Are there any facilities in Victoria you could recommend to me that ‘do it well’?.

Thank you
DCA Member.

Dear DCA member,

We receive many queries regarding colour choice for decorating dedicated dementia areas such as which colours are favoured or best to avoid and the impact of murals and so on.

We have endeavoured to gather information to assist in making decisions about colour and the following articles are of great value, no matter whether you are a professional or a family carer.

For some great tips on using colour to ignite the Spark of Life in people with dementia, we suggest that you read Dementia Care Australia’s article ‘Colour your world…and theirs!’

Other informative colour articles on our website include, ‘Listening to our hearts through colour’, and ‘Get the magic of colour and movement working’.

Can we also suggest that you post your query in our community forum? You are most likely to receive a personal response from someone who has already dealt with a similar situation and is happy to share his or her experience and knowledge with you. 

Appropriate use of colour is undoubtedly helpful in creating a supportive environment for independence and the social and emotional well-being of people with dementia. However, remember that no matter how sophisticated the colour scheme, it cannot make up for the human element in dementia care.


The team at DCA