Extending Dementia Care Homes
Our Design Approach
We start by listening to the way our clients want to run their care home business, identify the design brief and use that to change existing buildings to better fit their needs. Good design can change the success of a business and so we challenge our clients to make sure we get the very best design from every building. We are also realists and ensure that every design feature has a reason and meets a specific need.
We also use our experience in designing for dementia to assess carefully what’s best for the residents. It's very important that they and their families are happy too.
Adding rooms is the main factor that increases the return on investment and so our priority is always maximising the number of rooms.
Families views have a very large impact on the choice of care homes - perhaps less than the residents themselves Creating a great entrance area enhances everyone's impression of the care home immediately they arrive and enhances the reputation of the home with residents, families and staff.
The “Internal Street”
The “internal street” should be a bright, colourful and stimulating environment that makes everyday life more enjoyable and interesting for residents, families and staff alike. It's also safe because staff can interact residents at any time as they go about their duties. Not just a corridor, it's a place to sit, meet and chat with other residents, staff and family. If residents are feeling gregarious, they might choose to spend all day there. If they want peace and quiet, they can sit in one of the conventional lounges instead.
Dementia Friendly Courtyards
Our schemes feature "Internal Courtyards" that are dementia friendly, safe and secure. The courtyards let sunlight and daylight into the heart of the home and provide views out. Residents can go out whenever they wish, sit on a bench, look at the planting and do some of their own gardening. There will also be play equipment for visiting grand-children and age appropriate outdoor exercise equipment.
The bedrooms are designed for people with dementia but can also be adapted for those who are in need of hospital after-care. Each room has space for a standard hospital bed with space all round to allow nursing care if needed. We use fresh colour combinations that are Dementia friendly. Residents relate strongly to colour and if a feature wall colour can be linked to the door colour that reinforces their memory of their own room.
En-Suite Shower Rooms
En-suite shower rooms give residents the privacy and dignity of their own space, even if they need personal care. We design them as wet rooms with easy access and no steps into the showers.
Benefits For Staff
Modern dementia friendly facilities like this are great for the staff too. It makes their work easier and more enjoyable.
We recently obtained another planning consent to extend an existing care home that will provide 22 new dementia rooms. The design follows the innovative design approach outlined above and those features were a critical factor in persuading the local planning authority of the benefits of the scheme, despite neighbour objections. The scheme was featured recently in Care Home Professional.
This is our third large scale care home extension where we have used some design magic to turn an old, poorly planned building, beset with cost constraints and technical problems, into something functional and beautiful.
If you would like to discuss the benefits of extending and altering your existing care home, please get in touch.