April 9th, 2019 at 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Center for Healthcare Design Environments for Aging Expo & Conference

Salt Lake City, Utah


Investigating the Impact of Multi-sensory Environments on Behavior for People with Dementia

Presented by Gresham Smith Healthcare Director of Research and Innovation Lesa Lorusso, Ph.D, MBA, Allied AIA, ASID, NCIDQ, University of Florida Associate Professor Nam-Kyu Park, Ph.D., University of Florida Assistant Professor Sheila Bosch, Ph.D., EDAC, and Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center Director Ronald I. Shorr, MD, MS

The global population is aging rapidly. The U.S. Veteran’s Administration (VA) estimates that 1.1 million Veterans will have dementia by 2029. Due to their progressive cognitive decline, people living with dementia have difficulty adapting to environmental stresses, which can often worsen their symptoms. Elderly people are often treated with drugs, which can be costly. However, the built environment may be a therapeutic alternative to pharmacological intervention.

In this presentation, Lorusso and her fellow researchers will highlight a 20-week, qualitative and quantitative research study with the VA to understand the effect of multi-sensory environments on Veterans with dementia. Presenters will tie findings into healthcare-based interior design, demonstrating how person-centered spaces can increase positive emotions and behavioral responses. The presentation will also discuss the study’s long-term goal of partnering with the VA to improve the design of dementia care facilities nationwide.


More information and a full conference schedule can be found here.