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Care home design


practical issues, introducing these design features helped residents navigate their surroundings, and maintain independence for a longer period. Fast forward to the 21st century and care homes across the UK and Europe are sharing best practice and a vision of the future. An appealing and ideal care home for residents, families and staff is one that leaves institutional settings behind. Some care operators now run their homes with the inclusion of amenities such as hair and nail salons, cinema rooms, games rooms, spa bathrooms, shared spaces for meals and socialising, as well as manicured outdoor gardens creating a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment.


The more that movement around the home and social interactions can be encouraged, the better the experience and mental wellbeing for residents. Great care home operators


understand that a continued investment in facilities such as these design elements creates ongoing demand from potential residents, securing the prospects for a care home. More importantly, it provides a quality human experience.


Care home design enhanced by technology


Technology has played a major role in improving care homes over the decades. From a complete absence of technology in the 1960s, to perhaps one computer in a home in the 1980s, the industry has now arrived at digital care. Since the turn of the century integrating technological advances into the design of a care home has brought benefits to both residents and staff. Technology has now also been integrated into policy, including NHS England's Technology Enabled Care Services project launched in 2014. Installing facilities for acoustic monitoring, along with digitised locking systems, can ensure greater protection of resident movements. Wifi and video calling technology aids independence and the ability to connect to family and friends at a time when a physical visit is not practical, a technological advancement that is being used in the current climate more than ever. On the clinical side, new technology capabilities also allow for tech-enabled health services including telehealth and digital care planning. Again, both initiatives enable remote care when physical visit restrictions may be in place. In advanced homes, integrating the built environment with the internet of things (IoT) will open yet more


July 2020 • www.thecarehomeenvironment.com 39


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