Gibson G, Quirke M & Lovatt M (2022) The role of environmental design in enabling intergenerational support for people with dementia - what lessons can we learn from Japan. Working with Older People. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-12-2021-0064
Japan, the world’s ‘oldest’ society has adopted intergenerational care programmes as one solution to the challenges of caring for its growing population of people living with dementia. Many
countries are drawing inspiration from these intergenerational programmes, but research exploring factors influencing intergenerational care practice and how far these programmes can be translated in other countries is more limited. This paper explores how environmental design features are used to support intergenerational initiatives in Japan. By examining four case studies, the paper illustrates how intergenerational engagement can be enabled and supported through environmental design.
The research adopts a qualitative methodology, using observations, workshops, and photographic elicitations within four case study sites: two residential care facilities, a community centre and
supported housing scheme and a restaurant staffed by people with dementia
Two key themes emerge: encouraging community engagement through intergenerational shared spaces, and the role of intergenerationality in supporting social and economic participation. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the key principles through which other countries can translate lessons gained from the Japanese experience of intergenerational programmes into their
own health and social care systems.
This paper provides international evidence of the role environmental design plays in supporting the development of intergenerational relationships among people with dementia and the wider
community. Intergenerational engagement is community engagement; therefore, promoting community engagement is essential to promoting intergenerational care practice. Environmental design can play a key role in providing affordances through which such relationships can develop.
Dementia; environment; intergenerational care; design; social care; communities
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
Working with Older People