Design Endorsement

How suitable is your environment for older people and people with dementia?

The Dementia Centre’s Design Endorsement program independently assesses the physical environment, fixtures and fittings (including furniture) to ensure that it is suitable for people with dementia and older people in general. A pair of expert consultants will visit your building to carry out a detailed assessment using the internationally recognised DesignSmart rating tool. 

The DesignSmart rating tool has been specifically developed to review the design of a building, fixtures and fitting against evidenced based research design for people with cognitive and sensory impairments, experienced due to both dementia and ageing. 

A backyard with rotary clothesline, lush grass and new plantings for people with dementiaDementia Design Endorsement will support:

  • development of a suitably enabling environment for the people in your care
  • demonstration to your clientele of your commitment to good quality care
  • validation of your capital expenditure
  • informing future capital works
  • acknowledgment of the importance of good design in the aged care and retirement village industries.

Download the Brochure

This is a 560kB PDF download.

Who is able to apply for endorsement?

Any building, both commercial and residential that is used by older people and people with dementia is eligible to apply for endorsement. Residential and Community centre based service providers, hospitals and Architects and Interior designers (in consultation and collaboration with Hopsital, Residential and Community centre based service providers) would benefit from participating in this program.The design principles which underpin good design for people with cognitive and sensory impairments are universal. Therefore the Dementia Design Endorsement Program is available internationally.

How does it work?

A pair of expert consultants from the Dementia Centre, with operational and technical building skills and experience, will conduct an assessment of your building/area using DesignSmart. The time required to complete the assessment will vary from half to a full day, depending on the size and complexity of the building.

Logos for the Dementia Design Endorsement for environments for older people and people with dementia

What happens after the assessment visit?

Following the assessment visit a detailed report will be provided within 30 working days. The report will provide feedback on areas that are well designed, reflect international research based evidence and provide an overall rating of the building including:

  • Gold (90% or above): an excellent example of design for people with dementia
  • Silver (75 – 89%): a good example of design for people with dementia
  • Bronze (60 – 74%): an adequate example of design for people with dementia
  • Commendation: for services that, due to major structural issues, will never be able to attain the bronze level, but have used fixtures, fittings and furniture to compensate.

The report will also suggest any areas for improvement to help organisations make the right decisions regarding any changes to their building in the future. Contact our Consultancy team to learn more about how the Dementia Centre can assist your organisation with project planning and decision making to ensure that the right design features are incorporated.

Services who achieve a Gold, Silver, Bronze level of endorsement will receive:

  • a certificate from the Dementia Centre that can be displayed for 3 years to recognise this achievement
  • a logo that can be used for promotional purposes on service brochures and websites
  • acknowledgment and promotion on the Dementia Centre’s website.

Designers (such as architects, engineers and interior designers) can also be recognised for their contribution to a Dementia Design Endorsed building.

In consultation and partnership with the building’s owner/organisation prior to the application for endorsement, the designers can also receive a certificate and use of the logo for the 3 year period in which the endorsement is valid.

Can I do anything to change my rating?A dining setting for older people or people with dementia

Yes. Changes within 6 months of receiving the report will be taken in to consideration toward a revision of your rating and endorsement awarded or revised to reflect these changes.

How do I prepare?

Because the Dementia Design Endorsement Program provides you with the opportunity to make changes within a 6 month timeframe, you do not need to undertake major preparations. The Dementia Design Endorsement Program is both recognition of your design and an opportunity to get expert advice on how to improve the building’s suitability!

How do I arrange an Endorsement?

To arrange for a Dementia Design Endorsement or for more information on the Dementia Design Endorsement Program contact us on  +61 2 8437 7355 or email