Interior design

homely oak sliding panels, allowing light to pass through and without use of standard office-type folding dividers. I would not have those in my own home, would you?

We must design care homes for the future in which the need for occasional isolation is considered from project inception. After all, MRSA was around long before Covid-19 and yet closing a room door is usually the best solution a building can offer. The key, once again, will be spaces that are easy to alter as needs change. As a sector we are moving towards designs which are unique, adaptable environments in which older people can live, love and learn.

Storage requirements I have already mentioned the possible need for staff accommodation for future lockdown situations. In addition, how much PPE and general equipment should be immediately on hand to keep vulnerable care home populations safe on short notice?

We already know that hoists are always required and yet they continue to be found in many an unused assisted bathroom. Adequate storage is no longer a luxury in this sector, it is a requirement. In a competitive market it is an advantage

not to display your incontinence pad collection in public view, don’t you think? Most importantly, it is more respectful to residents. And what about that storage space you will need for furniture not being used if you allow case goods to come from people’s homes or offer soft- furnishings choices?

Storage may not appear to offer value for money in return on investment calculations based on the number of resident rooms and occupancy, but that may be a short-sighted assessment. Losing a fitted-out resident room and en- suite to storage or losing an expensive spa bathroom for this purpose can be the poorer choice. If there is no facility for expansion within your existing building, consider a small purpose-built storage site on the grounds.

Over the years Park Grove Design has been responsible for the development of several unique pad storage systems, as well as dementia-friendly mirror systems and other items currently missing from the supply chain. As demographics shift it will become commercially interesting for manufacturers to take up these causes, but in the short term it is entirely appropriate for you to request solutions from your own design team. Now, and in the future, storage is a

necessity, along with interior layouts which can support lower levels of staffing, transformational spaces, and unique offerings which support individual resident interests, creating a special community. When considering your new build or refurbishment, make sure you are also investing in your state-of-the art future.

Lori Pinkerton-Rolet PPBIID, FRSA

Lori Pinkerton-Rolet PPBIID, FRSA has been director of Park Grove Design since 1993, working to improving design criteria within the care home sector. She is the recipient of the 2012 BIID Award of Merit for outstanding achievement in the field of Interior Design and is a Past President of the British Institute of Interior Design and a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). She has served on the Projects Panel of

Construction Industry Council (CIC), which advises the UK government on issues related to the built environment.


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