inviting. A well-designed care home should draw someone in. A vast contrast of exciting textures helps with natural wayfinding too. Perhaps consider using a different theme and colour scheme for each floor to help people identify where they are at all times.

If designing an area for residents living with dementia, however, then it is best to avoid overwhelming patterns such as geometric designs. While appealing, such striking designs can cause confusion and therefore be unsettling.


FABRICS Find the balance of creating a setting that feels like a home- from-home while also being practical for residents. Consider seats that are slightly higher than average, with arms so residents can comfortably sit and stand without needing assistance.

Also, it’s preferable to use wider tables so residents feel they have their own individual space while being in a communal area. Make sure the tables have wheelchair access too. Ultimately, ergonomic furniture is a necessity in care homes, for both staff and residents.

Consider using impervious fabrics for furniture that are also easily wipeable, which is essential for infection control. High- quality fabrics come in a wide variety of designs nowadays, from faux leather to more domestic fabrics.


Utilise natural lighting. If possible, palliative care should be situated on the top floor as that’s where the most natural light is let in.

Think about energy usage and try to be as environmentally- friendly as possible. LED lights that use minimal energy, sunlights and mood lights, all with varying lux levels, should be considered.

Sundowning- a sense of agitation, confusion or anxiety at the end of the day for those with dementia- can be common, so lighting that can change temperature, such as to a warmer orange, can help people to acclimatise to the time of day and fall into better, healthier routines.


Consider natural soundproofing through the architecture of the building. With the typical L, T and H shaped concepts, sound can be absorbed through soſt, plush carpets.

Acoustic monitoring nurse call systems remove the beeping and alarms oſten heard in care homes by alerting staff through

handheld devices. It creates the atmosphere of a silent, domestic home rather than an institutionalised one.


Communal areas should be located throughout the home to encourage people to spend time outside their bedrooms. Central hubs allow people to get a sense of fulfilment from going somewhere away from where they live, closely mimicking real life. Kitchenettes provide active spaces where people can independently cook, eat or chat over a cup of tea. It’s vital to encourage independence where possible. Every micro decision by a resident, whether it’s making a drink or snack, leads to a sense of fulfilment and achievement.

Also, think about focal points. This could be a fireplace, a bookcase or a view of the outdoors that could provide a reflective space.

Overall, there are many factors to consider when designing a living environment in a luxury care home, but they are all crucial elements to ensuring those using the home to reside or work in are safe and comfortable – something every care environment should aspire to provide.

Priesty Fields care home is run by Handsale, a group of eight care homes across England, Scotland and Wales providing innovative care to its users through digital care plans, secure medication delivery, and 24/7 management. The group prides itself on empowering staff to provide outstanding care by putting wellbeing and community at its centre. - 25 -

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