Excellence in Design: Optimal Living Space for People With Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias


This white paper addresses the evolving needs and desires of the growing population with cognitive impairment and their families by presenting recommendations for the design of care settings that would facilitate high-quality, comprehensive, person-centered care. The goals of this report are to:

  • present a philosophy of both care and design that will help change the long-term care landscape to meet the needs of all stakeholders - residents, family and professional caregivers, facility management, and communities;
  • reinforce to both designers and care providers the importance of maximizing the remaining strengths of residents with cognitive impairment so that they may live in a dignified, homelike (rather than institutional) environment; and
  • foster, through raising awareness, the development of a cadre of architects and interior designers interested in specializing in the design of supportive and therapeutic residential settings for people with Alzheimer’s disease.


  • A Brief History of Alzheimer’s Care Facilities
  • Woodside Place: A Model of Residential Care
  • Design Considerations forAlzheimer’s Disease 
  • Case Studies
  • Conclusion
  • About the Author
Contact Person/Organization: 

Emily Chmielewski, EDAC, Perkins Eastman, Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Design for Dementia: The Role Environment Plays on Behaviors in Dementia