Assistant Professor Farhana Ferdous Awarded AAHF Research Grant

Joining Howard University in Fall 2017 as an assistant professor in the department of architecture, Dr. Ferdous has already been awarded a research grant by the Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation (AAHF). Dr. Ferdous also brings her Toyota Foundation Individual Research Grant awarded in Summer 2017 to Howard University.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the number of people aged over sixty-five years is currently 35 million. The number of people who will need long-term care services is estimated to reach 27 million by the year 2050 (from 15 million in 2000). Dr. Ferdous is concerned with this rapid growth of the need for effective long-term care facilities (LTCFs), stressing that now is the time to focus on long-term care facility design for the dementia patients among this fast-growing population.

Dr. Ferdous adds, "The physical environment is always recognized as a place to ameliorate positive behavioral changes, where social interaction is repeatedly considered an essential therapeutic intervention for people experiencing dementia to improve their quality of life. Research literature suggests that residents value social environment more than other aspects of the care facilities. A well-designed supportive physical environment both in a home and in LTCFs may reduce such challenging behaviors by fostering a positive attitude, such as lower agitation, an increase in social contact, more independence in conducting activities of daily living, and so forth. I think architectural design can create a supportive physical environment to improve social interaction. Positive social interaction is the most influential aspect of improving overall health and wellbeing."

Dr. Ferdous plans to present her research at the 2018 EDRA49 Annual Conference, the Environmental Design Research Association's annual conference, in June.

Read a complete overview of Dr. Ferdous' research initiative: Positive Health Outcomes by Environmental Design: The Role of Spatial Configuration in Designing Physical Environment for People Experiencing Dementia.

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