Architecture and design have the power to bring joy to everyone living, working, and visiting residential long-term care. 

Unfortunately, this is not the norm as we typically do not adhere to evidence-based best practices. If we did, strengths-based approaches would prevail. Instead, the dominant approaches for dementia design follow an institutional medical model or architectural and interior design trends.

The remedy is largely a question of communication. If you are a care provider, planner, architect, or interior designer, join us to learn which questions to ask to use architecture and design to maximize quality of life for people with dementia.

March 29, 2023

From (EST)
10:00 - 11:00


Rahzeb Choudhury - Founder and Author - Lifelong Inspiration

Rahzeb Choudhury
Founder, Lifelong Inspiration

Dr. Pamela Topping

Dr. Pamela Topping
Founder, Colourwired

Katherine Hirsch
Founder, Sensory-scapes


The problem

The medical model for design sees people with dementia primarily through the prism of their diagnosis, and resulting deficits. Consequently, the focus of architecture and design is limited to matching building standards and preventing things from going wrong. In essence, meeting medical, hygiene, and safety needs and creating hospital-like environments.

An architectural and interior design trend-driven approach achieves just what you’d expect - it delivers buildings with the dominant design trends at that period of time - and tends to create hotel-like environments, which impress family members of residents, but do not meet the needs of residents.

Strengths-based dementia design

In contrast, strengths-based dementia design seeks to use architecture and design to put the psychological, social, and emotional needs of residents first, which in turn benefits staff and family members. This all-encompassing approach starts from the inception of the planning process and continues on an ongoing basis into the daily-lived experience.

Done well, strengths-based dementia design creates a carefully curated, unified, and, personalized environment that supports and enhances the quality of life for people with dementia who are living in their final homes. Strengths-based dementia design is integral to person-centred care.

What to expect

Walk away knowing who to involve in your consultations and the questions to ask each other.

The evidence-based principles behind strengths-based architecture and design for dementia, focusing on placemaking, identity, light color and nature.

Understand practical applications of strength-based dementia design to create warm, welcoming and safe sensory environments.


Wednesday, March 29 at 10:00 - 11:00 am EST, (Canada and USA)

Who will attend

Planners, care providers, architects, and interior designers who are involved in new builds or renovating existing long-term care locations.

After the session, each stakeholder will have a better understanding of what to questions to ask and expect from one another if the goal is to combine architecture and design to maximize quality of life for people with dementia.

Host and Speakers


Rahzeb Choudhury

Founder, Lifelong Inspiration, The Netherlands

Rahzeb Choudhury is the founder Lifelong Inspiration, which focuses on ideas, services and solutions that advance a person-centred agenda. In the dementia care space their work covers new product and service development around dementia design, care personalization and non-drug interventions that maintain or improve quality of life.

Dr. Pamela Topping

Founder, Colourwired, Northern Ireland

B.DES (Hons), MA MDD (Multidisciplinary Design) PhD
Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

Dr. Pamela Topping is passionate about color, light and joy. Pamela leads Colouwired as it builds and empowers people who are intent on creating a better place, an all-inclusive place that embraces the spirit of community and a love of life for those with dementia.

Pamela has a lifetime of leadership and excellence including growing nursing home developments and scaling global marketplaces. She has previously held many positions within her teaching career as an educator, lecturer, and academic leader including organizing symposiums, conferences, and visiting speakers.

Pamela delivers high impact through a user design ethos, co-creating through round
table discussions and collaborative design workshops. She is a sought-after speaker. In Pamela’s
earlier career she trained and served as a nurse in the Belfast City Hospital. For 10 years Pamela continues to hold the position as a Non-Executive Director for GROW – Generating Rural Opportunities Within South Antrim, (Economic Empowerment for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council). She also has a deep commitment to community and education, as she currently serves as a Board of Governor for pupils in a local Belfast school, she has held this position for 10 years. The school is situated in a socially deprived area that was drastically
impacted by the Northern Ireland Troubles. Recently through more peaceful
times, the children continue to excel and achieve academic excellence.

Katherine Hirsch

Founder, Sensory-scapes, Canada

Katherine Hirsch is devoted to creating innovative and custom sensory spaces for people of all ages and abilities. Her unique approach to developing sensory balanced environments began in 1994. Sensory-scapes works with schools, childcare centres, day programs, hospitals, residential long-term care homes and hospices to design, create and install innovative sensory-rich environments.

Backed by education, experience and a passion for one-of-a-kind custom projects Sensory-Scapes extends unique vision of sensory input into the Senior Care sector designing custom reminiscing spaces, interactive murals, senior-specific sensory spaces and visually stunning ceiling-scapes.

The team at Sensory-scapes loves what we do because “we make sensory that makes sense.”


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Strengths-based Architecture and Design for Dementia

Meet psychological, social, and emotional needs

March 29 , 2023

From (EST)
10:00 - 11:00