Radwraps providing dementia-friendly fire door signage on dementia wards at Hospitals 

27th May 2020

Radwraps Antimicrobial have installed a series of dementia-friendly fire door signage at numerous local hospitals.

Radwraps Antimicrobial are based out of Birkdale, Merseyside, and the organisation primarily produces magnetic covers which are designed to attach to radiators. But our variety of design options can also be applied to other surfaces and to achieve other purposes, whether it is to promote a business, emphasise a location, or to simply deliver assistance for those situated within a particular area that may need some further guidance.

When it comes to patients suffering from dementia, the simplest tasks can become a real struggle. This includes identifying the likes of doors and windows, and recognising how they differentiate from the basic wall surroundings due to reduced levels of colour recognition. This can then lead to other potential problems whereby a patient might walk to an area within the hospital that has restricted access, such as a fire exit. There is also the confusion and fear that comes from the condition especially later in the day, when oftentimes sufferers are seeking escape routes or asking to visit places that they are already situated within. It is sad to think about, because a situation might arise purely due to the misunderstanding that dementia can bring about to a patient that is none the wiser, given their state of health.

This is where Radwraps Antimicrobial are helping, however. Our solution was to create designs of bookcases which are placed across the frames of fire doors within dementia wards. The varieties in colour balances and the contrasts of shapes and sizes for the books featured within such images are striking enough to resemble an actual stack of book shelves. This means that those who have dementia, from a far-out perspective, will view these as being genuine bookcases, thus triggering them to walk right past them and to not attempt to push the fire doors open.

As a result, they provide warm and upbeat visuals for the patients, while keeping themselves and everybody else around them safer at the same time. It also means they will be less anxious and less distressed, since they are avoiding problematic situations which would not have been their fault, as they are no longer looking at exits as an escape point to an unnecessary location, because they view the doors in a different light. This is especially important at night, during which dementia sufferers can experience what is known as sundowning, where the desire to leave and the resultant confusion increases; thanks to these images, the frequency of such problems is greatly reduced.

It is important for us to create images that can raise a smile and capture somebody’s attention, but without complicating matters and by remaining aware of the serious nature of the work carried out by employees at hospitals and, in particular, on dementia wards. The commentary so far has been unanimously positive, and having successfully trialled these designs at selected medical facilities, we are planning to roll them out to a greater percentage of hospitals and dementia wards in the months to come, thus helping to make the world an even safer place post-pandemic.

To find out more about Radwraps Antimicrobial, you can contact James Maddocks by calling 01704 567083, or by emailing james@radwraps.co.uk, or you can visit www.radwraps.co.uk.