Lounge Layout to Facilitate Communication and Engagement in People with Dementia

  • Rebecca A. SharpEmail author
  • Emma Williams
  • Rebecka Rörnes
  • Choo Ying Lau
  • Carolien Lamers
Brief Practice


The design of care settings for people with dementia is often guided by expert opinion rather than empirical data. We evaluated the effect of arranging lounge furniture in different configurations on communication, engagement with activities, and indices of happiness in people with dementia. We found that the common configuration of chairs placed around the outside of the room resulted in the least of all 3 behaviors. Communication occurred most when the furniture was arranged in groups, and engagement occurred most when the furniture layout maximized the salience of available activities.


Stimulus control Furniture Dementia Engagement Indices of happiness 



We thank Dr. David Oakley and Ms. Carolyn Humphreys for their assistance, as well as the ward and clients who participated.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Rebecca A. Sharp declares no conflict of interest. Emma Williams declares no conflict of interest. Rebecka Rörnes declares no conflict of interest. Choo Ying Lau declares no conflict of interest. Carolien Lamers declares no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyBangor UniversityWalesUK
  2. 2.North Wales Clinical Psychology ProgrammeBangor UniversityWalesUK

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