Dementia friendly painting

69 - Rob McWhinny

In 2014, Countess of Chester Hospital, in Chester, decided to make a very simple change in its paint work to become Dementia friendly, after advice from their painter and decorator Rob McWhinnie.

Dementia Nurse Andy Tysoe said today: "Dementia is not just about memory loss. It can also affect the way a person with dementia thinks, reasons and understands their environment. "

"When things have got low contrast, they're harder to make out. For people with dementia, they can be impossible. If you're looking for a white toilet, with a white seat, in a white tiled room in a hospital, and you've got dementia, it can make something which is obvious to most people really difficult and a complete blur. But if you use a dark coloured toilet seat, it makes it stand out more."

"It’s the same principal with using contrasting colours when painting. A simple change that can make people's lives much easier, and it costs no more."

"Our painter and decorator came to a Dementia Friends session. Afterwards, he told me that it costs no more to paint in dementia friendly colours than what he was using before. This went right the way to the Chief Nurse, Alison Kelly, and the hospital has now decided to do its redecoration like that. It's a change that costs nothing, but brings huge benefits. That's what NHS Change Day is about — low cost or no cost change that makes a real difference."

Alison Kelly, Director of Nursing and Quality at Countess of Chester Hospital said "Our dementia-friendly decision is to make sure we use dementia-friendly colours every time we decorate."

Rob McWhinnie, painter, said "At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what colour I use to paint with, the price is still the same."

The changes began as part of the hospital's rolling maintenance programme in summer 2014.
  • 100 Days of Change
  • Campaigns > Change Day 2015
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