Dementia and the Environment:

Optimizing Physical Spaces for People Living With Dementia



Wednesday October 22, 2014



263 McCaul St., 4th Floor Classroom

Registration is limited to 25 participants per session.
Light refreshments will be served.


About The Workshop

Our living environment can have an impact on our lives, our feelings, our behaviours, and how we relate with others. People living with dementia are no different. In some cases, the physical space, the way a room and its contents are laid out, can present hidden triggers for a person with dementia. Responsive behaviours (agitation, stress, confusion, etc.) may be exacerbated by factors such as the intensity of lighting, placement of accessories or clutter to name but a few.

Before adapting a living space for someone living with dementia, the following questions should be taken into consideration:

  • What constitutes the right environment for this particular individual?

  • What modifications will make the individual thrive and remain safe in their own living space?

  • Where and how do you begin?


During this 3-hour interactive workshop, we will:

  • Explore the reasons behind heightened responsive behaviours (i.e. aggressive behaviours) as they relate to the physical environment.

  • Identify hidden risk factors within different rooms of the home and learn how best to maximize safety and security without compromising independence and autonomy.

    • Kitchen demonstration

    • Interactive analysis of living spaces                          

  • Learn ‘wayfinding’ (navigation) tips that can be used around the home to reduce stress on the person living with dementia as well as their caregiver(s) and family members.

  • Come up with a person-centred action plan which places emphasis on catering to the specific needs of the person living with dementia.


At the end of the workshop, you will leave with practical knowledge and helpful tips that you can turn into manageable and actionable steps.


Bio: Romina Oliverio is a Dementia Consultant and Educator in Toronto. A graduate of the Gerontology program at Ryerson University and the Dementia Studies program at Conestoga College in Waterloo, Romina is U-FIRST certified and has undergone training in Montessori Methods for Dementia; Behavioural Support Training; and Palliative Care for Dementia. She has worked for the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto and has experience working with people living with dementia in various settings including Baycrest Hospital and the Bitove Academy of Wellness, an arts-based day program for people with dementia and their caregivers. Romina is the Minds in Motion program coordinator at the Alzheimer's Society of Toronto and also writes 'Ask the Expert', a  column on dementia care for

As a consultant, Romina works with people living with dementia, families, and caregivers, with an emphasis placed on providing individualized, person-centred consulting and care. As an educator, Romina offers workshops on various topics of dementia care.


For more information, please visit

or follow Romina on Twitter @RominaOliverio