Spotlight put on dementia care by Kingston University
March 23 2010
‘Living with Dementia – Can Design Make a Difference’ was led by Professor Hilary Dalke in an effort to inform future blueprints for the building, lay-out and management of care homes.
Cost effective improvements suggested in the report include laying out homes as single storey ‘villages’ to instill a sense of neighbourhood, including such facilities as a shop, café and even a ‘pub’.
Continuing to stimulate residents was a priority for the researchers who recommended having cats and chickens on site. Even old engine parts were utilised as a means to stimulate memories of some residents prior working lives with some taking these objects back to their rooms.
Dalke said: “Many care home professionals believe that a building with a lack of design for independent living can itself cause a rapid decline for residents with Alzheimer’s disease. People who have been moved to a more stimulating home have shown significant improvement in their physical or mental condition that was not directly attributable to greater luxury or more staff.”
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