The effects of an enhanced environment on nursing home residents who pace

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Perla Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to enhance the well-being of older nursing home residents who pace and wander by enriching their nursing home environment. Visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli were added to the nursing home unit environment to simulate two types of environments: a home environment and an outdoor nature environment. Participants seemed to prefer the enhanced environments by choosing to spend more time in them, and by sitting on benches in those environments. There was a trend toward less trespassing exit-seeking, and other agitated behaviors being exhibited in the enhanced environment, and residents were observed to manifest more pleasure in it. Staff members and family members definitely expressed a preference for the enhanced environment over the regular one. Although effects on residents were limited, this approach offers a low-cost method for making the nursing home environment a better place for those residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was supported by Crant AC-11502 from the National Institute on Aging. 1Research Institute of Hebrew Home of Creater Washington and Georgetown University Center on Aging. Address correspondence to Dr. Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Research Institute, Hebrew Home of Creater Washington, 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852. E-mail: 2University of Haifa, Israel.


  • Agitation
  • Dementia
  • Environmental design
  • Nursing homes
  • Pacing
  • Wandering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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