Therapeutic Kitchens for Residents with Dementia

Publication Title

The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

Publication Date

Fall 2001

Document Type



dementia, residential facilities, food service, environmental design


Architecture | Environmental Design | Other Architecture


Long-term care facilities are increasingly incorporating some sort of kitchen, often referred to as a therapeutic kitchen, for resident, staff, and family use through remodeling efforts or new construction. A study, consisting of five site visits and a questionnaire mailed to 631 facilities providing dementia care, was conducted to identify physical features that are typically included in therapeutic kitchen design and to explore how these features support daily use in relation to activities programming and food service systems. Findings indicate that universal design features should be incorporated to a greater extent and certain features are more common, reinforce homelike imagery, or enhance safety. Results also suggest that a higher number of residents participate in more recreational activities, such as baking, than they do in household chores, such as meal set-up, and therapeutic kitchens are not always linked to food service systems.