Interior design can have a big impact on healthcare settings such as hospitals and care homes. That’s why we wanted to take a look at colour psychology for healthcare and how you can use it in your establishment.
You may already be aware of this, but colour can have a big effect on a person’s mood or state of mind. Many institutions such as schools already take this into consideration when choosing a colour scheme. They do this to promote things such as motivation and positive mental health. Each colour group can evoke different emotions. That is why you should carefully consider the type of environment that you’d like to create in your care home or hospital.
Put simply, colour psychology is the study of colours and how they relate to human behaviour and emotion. It primarily looks at how the colours that we are surrounded by affecting our day-to-day decisions and moods.
Depending on the colour used, you can evoke emotions from excitement and happiness to calm and healing. This useful diagram from User Testing outlines which colours can promote different moods.
If your institution is part of a larger group, the colour scheme that you use will most likely use brand colours as a starting point. This is great for creating cohesion between premises. However, you should be conservative with how you use these colours.
Using the same few colours through an entire care home or hospital can be repetitive and even disorientating for patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Research has shown that colour can help people with dementia live more independently and safely. The main thing to consider is contrast. Dementia can change how you see things, so using contrasting colours for things such as light switches, door handles and even toilet seats can substantially improve the quality of life and safety of patients and residents.
The colour of the floor is also incredibly important. Changing colour between rooms can be very confusing for people living with dementia. Plain, matte floors that are consistent throughout the building are best. For example, shiny floors can look wet or slippery and dark rugs of carpets can look like holes in the floor.
Using different colours for skirting boards and doorframes compared to the floor will help people distinguish between areas and can also help them navigate their way around the rooms. If you don’t want to use the exact same colours in different areas or departments, you could use different shades or hues to signify that people are now in a different part of the building.
We hope that you have found this guide to colour psychology for care homes and hospitals helpful. The importance of colour may not be the first thing that you would have thought about when refurbishing. However, hopefully this post has helped you to understand how colour can affect your patients and residents going forward.