Daniella Johnson

19th May 2015

Design Insight – Dementia Care Home – Layout

Here at Brewster Bye we like to think of ourselves as at the forefront of dementia design. As it is Dementia Awareness Week, we thought we’d let you in on a few of the fundamental design principles we adopt.

Before we start, did you know that more than 800,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, with numbers expected to rise to 1.7 million by 2051.

A favourite quote:

“In the case of cancer and cardiovascular disease, it’s about adding years to your life. In the case of dementia, it’s about adding life to your years.”

Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and former Under Secretary-General of the UN

It is our job, as design professionals to accept the challenge to create spaces, products and services that can maximise quality to meet the needs of those affected.

Today’s insight looks at layout, to which the fundamental principles apply:

The position of the room in the building – When designing the buildings layout we ask ourselves fundamental questions, does the room belong to the public or domestic realm? Should it be located off the main corridor? Can we mitigate any potential confusion by making routes clear?

Logical layout of rooms – We very carefully consider the layout of each room right down to the fixtures and fittings. For example we make sure the dementia resident’s bedroom has a good amount of natural daylight, a bed orientated towards the en-suite to ensure a view of the WC, and a clear route to the communal areas. In communal areas we apply a lot of thought towards the windows, doors and lighting positions ensuring that the space is logical and clear.

Recognising the room– We carefully consider the buildings layout to ensure that the person with dementia can clearly identify the function of a room upon entry, or even before – through glazed screens or vision panels. In an unfamiliar environment first impressions are everything.

At Brewster Bye we are currently delivering a project for The Abbeyfield Society comprising 47no. 1 and 2 bedroom Extra Care and 30no. Dementia residential apartments with associated common facilities at Fernbank Drive, Bingley for completion summer 2016. We are also currently working closely with other housing & care providers to deliver future schemes.

To read more about Dementia Awareness Week 2015 you can go to http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/remembertheperson.