Approach

Our demonstration home is based on ‘ Design for Dementia’, the outcome from the cumulative knowledge gained from Innovate Dementia Europe funded research partnership into living better at home with dementia developed by Bill Halsall of Halsall Lloyd Partnership and Dr Rob McDonald of John Moores University Liverpool, in conjunction with Mersey Care NHS, Intereg IVB, Dementia Action Alliance and the SURF (Service Users Reference Forum). A distinguishing feature of this work was the participatory nature of the research, involving health professionals, academics and carers along with a living laboratory of people with dementia.
BRE in conjunction with Loughborough University and Halsall Lloyd partnership has taken the original ‘Design for Dementia’ principles forward to develop Chris and Sally’s house. This is in the form of a refurbished 2 up 2 down Victorian terrace, one of the U.K.’s most numerous types of homes. Although the concept building is a refurbishment the principals are equally applicable for new homes. This exemplar home will promote ideas, further knowledge and form the centre piece for future research.

The converted building’s features include:

  • Clear lines of sight and colour-coded paths through the home that help guide people towards each specific room
  • Increased natural lighting – proven to help people stay alert during the day and to sleep better at night
  • Noise reduction features – to lower the chances of stress.
  • Simple switches and heating controls, and safety sensors in high risks areas such as the kitchen

The demonstration house is based on the ‘design for dementia principals’ previously developed by Dr Rob McDonald and Bill Halsall at Liverpool John Moores University.

Director of BRE Innovation Parks Dr David Kelly said: ‘Our aim here is to show how homes can be adapted to better meet the needs of dementia sufferers and delay the need for care by the state for months or even years. Currently, the average cost of state care is between £30,000 to £40,000 per annum. Creating environments which allow people to live independently at home for longer could save a significant amount. That money could instead be channelled into research that alleviates the condition and reduces the emotional stress to the individual.’