There has been little systematic research into the design of care environments for older people. This article reviews empirical studies from both the architectural and the psychological literature. It outlines the instruments that are currently available for measuring both the environment and the quality of life of older people, and it summarises the evidence on the layout of buildings, the sensory environment and the privacy of residents. The conclusion is drawn that all evidence-based design must be a compromise or dynamic and, as demands on the caring environment change over time, this compromise must be re-visited in the form of post-occupancy evaluation
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