Care home design

a number of design factors that can be introduced to increase the quality of life for a resident with dementia in a care home. Evidence-based dementia design principles for care homes have been in existence since the late 1990s. These have included manageable cognitive load and appropriate levels of stimulation. In addition, colour and lighting play an important role in the ability to navigate space, from simple measures such as colour-coded, labelled doors to more advanced methods including motion- sensitive floor tiles directing residents step-by-step to the bathroom in the night. As we understand more about macular degeneration and the importance of colour contrast with dementia patients, we have adapted the nature of furniture and signage used in care homes. Surfaces and textures have been redesigned as we appreciate the role of touching and physical stimulation on cognitive behaviours. Touch and motion sensitive products can be used on table surfaces to encourage play, engagement, and physical rehabilitation. In outdoor spaces, gardens are designed to stimulate multiple senses, with plants that rustle, varying colours, textures, scents, and heights. Various pathways offer residents the option of


For more information call 0113 279 5854 or email

choosing how they would like to move around the space, supported with regular places to stop and rest with seating, which imparts an increased sensation of independence.

The importance of perimeter fencing to secure movements of residents is now balanced with the aesthetics of encouraging views of an active world and nature.

With care home design having advanced so far since the millennium, and with more to come, now is the time for the industry to share best practice. Exploring these ever-changing design themes and the scale of progress made in recent years offers a glimpse of the exciting and dynamic future for the sector. The challenge for those investing in and building care homes is how to balance the application of evolving designs that benefit the elderly residents with economic and environmental performance concerns.

However, it is vital that they do. According to NHS England, there are 17,000 care homes in the UK, housing approximately 400,000 people. As our aging population grows, along with the prevalence of later-life conditions, the need for fit for purpose care homes will become even more pressing.

Benjamin Davis

Benjamin Davis is chief executive of Octopus Real Estate, a specialist fund manager formed in May 2019 through combining Octopus Healthcare and Octopus Property. Octopus Real Estate has £2bn in funds under management from institutional and retail investors, and a team of over 110 professionals. Octopus Real Estate’s healthcare team invests in and develops properties exclusively for the healthcare sector, with a focus on care homes and retirement communities. Benjamin joined Octopus in 2010.


Vital all round defence

July 2020 • 41



Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48