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A salutogenic approach to dementia design

Latin is not a dead language when it comes to dementia design.

The phrase salutogenesis is a word that guides the philosophy of Dementia Training Australia (DTA) and is derived from the Latin for health – ‘salus’, and for source – ‘genesis’.

It was coined by sociologist Aaron Antonovsky, who believed health is relative on a continuum and the key research question is what causes health (salutogenesis) not what are the reasons for disease (pathogenesis).

DTA has taken this idea and applied it to living with dementia. They hold that “a salutogenic approach is about finding opportunities for people with dementia to live as full a life as possible”.

One way they believe that this is achievable is through dementia friendly design.

To talk more about this, DTA’s dementia design resource and how the new Aged Care Quality Standards can facilitate better design, is Kirsty Bennett, architect and manager of environmental design education service.

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