18th November 2011 | IN INDUSTRY NEWS & BUSINESS | BY SBID

SBID regional director Diana Celella has recently had the exciting news that a Dementia Nursing Home she designed won Best Dementia Care Interior at the annual National Dementia Awards.

Diana completed the Interior of Heather View Nursing Home in July, designing the Interior on behalf of YTM furniture who were the Interior supplier.

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The project was a 74 bedroom home with the first and second floors being for Dementia Care.  The brief was to design the ground floor as a village, comprising of a village green, shop, tea shop, coffee shop, hairdressers and Cinema.  There were also 14 sitting Rooms and 8 Dining Rooms all to be designed in a dementia friendly manner.

Diana had already completed two other Dementia nursing homes, so understood how important the Interior and environment is to the health of someone suffering from Dementia.  She said:  ‘There is a lot of research by both Sterling and Bradford University into how a well thought out Interior can help to ensure that a Dementia sufferer can live as full a life as possible.  Tasks which appear very straight forward to a well person may appear very complex to someone with dementia, good dementia design can help to minimise trips, falls and impact injuries as well as reducing frustration and anxiety.’

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‘There are many recommendations when design in a Dementia friendly manner, but examples would be to avoid changes in floor colour as to individuals this may present a ‘hole’ which they will not be willing to cross and certain patterns can be misinterpreted and cause concern.’

‘To design in a dementia friendly way takes a lot of thought because many of the recommended fabrics are plain or bland.  I tried to design in a way to still make the rooms look interesting and comfortable.  Residents leave their homes to live in Care homes, so the design should be homely not institutional.’

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Like all healthcare projects the upholstery fabrics needed to be Antimicrobial, waterproof, stain resistant and flame retardant to crib 5, all of which can be restrictive in the types and selection of fabrics available.  There was also a budget to comply with – Diana said ‘to make the fabrics look more interesting I used contrast piping, contrast panels and mixed textures.’

The entrance is designed around a village green with clear signage and a large digital art wall of the nearby area set in late 1950’s, there is a shop which Diana had designed with a colourful sweet shop window. Reminiscence is thought to help people with dementia, so the Cinema is set in late 1950’s/1960’s.  There is also a ‘Betty’s’ style tea shop and a more modern coffee shop.

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Diana individually designed each sitting room to have its own identity, some of which have been themed, with a 1950’s Reminiscence lounge complete with retro furniture. She said: ‘This room was great fun to design, I scoured antique shops for props and managed to find all sorts from early 1960’s magazines to clocks and radios.  The end result was fantastic and the staff at the Care Home were thrilled.’

‘I really enjoyed this project and the end product, since completing this Nursing Home I have finished one in Birmingham and at present working on a further six.’