In line with the Universal Design Homes principles, fittings should be easy to understand, use and manage. This covers a wide spectrum of considerations in relation to furniture and fittings, signage, and technology.
Materials and finishes are also critical, for instance, bold floor patterns and dark lines can confuse people with dementia, (Passini et al., 1998) while Zamora (2008) found texture and colour can be associated with falls on pathways. Finishes and materials can also provide important orientation and way-finding cues to reduce the risk of getting lost and disoriented (Fleming & Bennett, 2017).
Additionally, one study by Coutureau et al. (2021) showed how copper surfaces (i.e., finishes to door handles, handrails, and grab bars) had no protective effect in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. This led the authors of this research report to question the degree of virus spread through surface contamination, which in turn puts the value of surface decontamination in question in the context of COVID-19.
In relation to surfaces, and finishes, Allen and Marr (2020) state that frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces may also help reduce secondary airborne transmission. They highlight the role of technological controls such as ultraviolet C or UV-C (short-wavelength ultraviolet) germicidal irradiation, which has been shown to be highly effective in deactivating COVID-19 virus replication (Biasin et al., 2021). UV-C germicidal irradiation uses ultraviolet light/energy to kill organisms (i.e., virus, bacteria, and fungi), and often takes the form of ultraviolet light sources. UV-C fixtures can kill airborne pathogens and be installed in such a way that prevents direct UV exposure to people.
They also refer to the cleaning of surfaces using vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
Marshall (2001) argues that good wayfinding signage between key spaces and multiple cues (e.g., sight, smell, sound) have positive effects on residents. However, a balance must be struck e.g., large arrows on the floor along with the large format signage using words like ‘toilet’ (Namazi and Johnson, 1991) may conflict with the creation of a homelike environment.