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Tag: editorial feature

Care Home Interiors Company in Care Environment Magazine

In the latest edition of Care Environment Magazine, Kerry Southern-Reason, CEO of Care Home Interiors Company, discusses innovative and budget-friendly approaches to dementia-friendly design. The feature article provides invaluable insights and practical tips on how to create enabling and dementia-friendly interiors without breaking the bank.

Southern-Reason emphasises the critical role of the care home environment in enhancing the quality of life for residents, particularly those living with dementia. With approximately 900,000 people estimated to be living with dementia in the UK—a number expected to rise sharply in the coming years—creating a supportive and comfortable environment has never been more essential.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s co-creation guide highlights the prevalence and impact of dementia in the UK, noting that 14% of those affected have mild symptoms, 28% have moderate symptoms, and 58% suffer from severe symptoms. These figures underscore the importance of thoughtful design in care homes to minimise disorientation and stress, and promote autonomy and personal connections among residents.

Despite the clear benefits, many care home operators hesitate to invest in dementia-friendly designs due to the perceived high costs. Southern-Reason aims to debunk this myth, presenting numerous cost-effective strategies that can significantly improve the living conditions for residents with dementia.

Key Takeaways from the Feature Article: Think of the FACS – without the ‘T’.

Familiarity: Familiar environments can help reduce disorientation. Using homely designs with recognisable items can trigger positive memories, promoting a sense of belonging e.g. A lounge generally has a fireplace and TV as focal points. Multi-purpose rooms are a departure from the traditional home layout and can be extremely confusing.

Accessibility: An accessible environment makes navigation easy for individuals with cognitive impairment. For instance, clear sightlines and proper signage can help residents identify and reach different areas without confusion. E.g. Bus stop type signs for toilets or any other sign that really emphasises the fact it’s a toilet is incredibly helpful. One of biggest anxieties people living with dementia can have is how to access the toilet. Providing clear and obvious direction to a toilet alleviates anxiety but also aids in maintaining a level of independence they would otherwise not have.

Comfort: Comfortable environments minimise stress and encourage relaxation. Soothing colour palettes, comfortable furniture, soft lighting and tactile fabrics and objects provide sensory feedback contributing to a overall calming ambiance.

Safety: Safety is paramount in dementia care. Designs should limit fall risks, secure potentially dangerous items, and ensure residents can be easily monitored.

The feature in Care Environment Magazine showcases how thoughtful and intentional design can create an enabling environment for people living with dementia, all while being mindful of budget constraints. These practical tips serve as a guide for care home operators looking to improve their facilities without incurring significant expenses.

By sharing these insights, Care Home Interiors Company is leading the way in transforming care home environments into supportive, dementia-friendly spaces that enhance the lives of their residents.