The construction of a new dementia home that can provide an insight into how to support those with the condition is set to begin
BRE and Loughborough University have combined forces to create a new dementia home. The building, which will begin construction in the autumn, will help understand how to support people living with dementia.
Some 850,000 people in the UK currently suffer with the disease, which costs families around £18bn a year in care costs. As the ageing population continues to increase, it is expected this figure will hit more than one million by 2025. What is learnt from the facility will enable carers to meet the needs of dementia sufferers in the future.
The converted terrace house, spanning 100 sq m, will be adapted to allow people to live independently and will be tested for different types as well as stages of the disease.
The £300,000 building project, which was designed by researchers from both the BRE and Loughborough University, will provide a learning platform for developers, care providers and families to equip homes for dementia patients.
Among the features that will be installed and implemented in the dementia home will be colour coded paths to guide people to specific rooms; clear lines of sight; increased natural lighting; noise reduction; and safety sensors in high risk areas.
Utilising expertise from the two organisations, it is hoped the building will change how people with the disease live in the future.
Home care that works
Principal investigator on the project, Professor Jacqui Glass, of Loughborough’s School of Civil and Building Engineering said: “Most people experiencing dementia wish to remain at home, so the design and construction of new dwellings or home conversions are paramount.
“With this project we want to show how design solutions can be to be easily integrated within most current homes and communities to improve people’s lives.”
The demonstration house draws on previous work from Liverpool John Moores University’s Dr Rob McDonald and Bill Halsall.
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.”