We have a lot to be proud about at St Georges Nursing Home.  Every design decision in our purpose built home has been taken with our residents in mind and our ability to improve the quality of life for those suffering with dementia.  In the first part of the series, we’re taking a look at our corridors.  Hardly the most exciting topic, but for us it has been fascinating, being able to improve the most basic area into something stimulating that allows our residents to feel comfortable, familiar and free.

The corridors in St Georges Nursing Home are spaciously wide, with great accessibility for our residents, staff and visiting friends and family.  Beautiful ash hand railings run the full circumference of our corridors to promote safety.

IMG_2307On our residents’ doors, also ash, we will be featuring a photograph of them from their younger days.  Research shows that they are most likely to remember imagery from earlier in their life (as opposed to, say, a recent photograph).  We are looking forward to seeing these ourselves, as they help us get to know our residents a little better – who they were, what they did, where they lived…

A recent development, to help residents familiarity, is the naming and colourisation of our corridors. Each of the four adjoining corridors, that wrap around our central garden, will have a name and appropriate colour.  We have Magnolia Avenue (Magnolia), Flamingo Walk (Pink), Sunshine Boulevard (Yellow) and Wimbledon Way (Green).  Each of these corridors will also feature appropriate decor, including tactile mountings such as feathers on Flamingo Walk and tennis balls on Wimbledon Way.  Not only are these features interesting to look at, but the fact that they can be touched will be stimulating for our residents and visitors.

Doors to staff areas are painted the same colour as the corridors as to not confuse our residents with inaccessible areas, whilst the WC doors have bright red handles and floors. Research has shown that this colour is most noticeable by sufferers of dementia.

We will also be featuring stimulating artwork throughout the building.  Research shows that a modern building can be disconcerting which is why, although our building is new and modern, our interior design in the residential areas will be traditional and homely.  Our artwork and furniture will reflect this.  We also have a speaker system that allows us to pipe music into the corridors.  We will be using this to play different themed music at different times of the day, to create a soundscape that is soothing and comforting.

The corridors are welcoming and homely and run the entire span of the building and feature plenty of alcoves for resting.  As our building is built around a centre garden, this means that a resident could keep walking around the corridors without facing a dead end and feeling like their accessibility or freedom has been constrained.

The corridors downstairs open out onto our central focus – our wonderful gardens.  Residents and guests on the lower level will be able to access this garden freely during daylight hours, and those on the upper floor will have their own lift for easy access.  It is a safe, stimulating area that we know will enhance the quality of life of our residents.  The garden features bird tables, trees, a raised rose border, a circular feature lawn, a herb border and a central fountain.  The garden features sitting areas providing both sun and shade and has been designed by well known garden designer Stella Caws.  More on this in a future blog post.