Residents’ interactions in the sitting spaces of purpose-built Homes for old people were studied by participant and structured observation. Eight Homes were sampled from a larger number to represent factors of size (large and small), design (institutional and family) and mental designation of residents (confused or rational). Verbal exchanges between residents were analysed in terms of initiators’ and respondents’ mental designations. The residents’ locations within the sitting spaces and in the sleeping and dining areas of the Homes were recorded. Examination of these data suggests that residents of different mental designations are segregated from each other. Some architectural design elements of physical settings that might foster integration are outlined.

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