Carers ideas wanted for new hospital

Chris

Registered User
May 20, 2003
243
Hope this doesnt sound too trivial amongst very practical threads. I need your ideas for features in new hospital buildings that will improve the environment for patients who have dementia. Thanks - sorry for long message - thats me !!!!

Back in 1995 we were experiencing so much unnecessary suffering besides what AD itself throws at you - I made a vow to grab whatever opportunity came along - as soon as free to do so - to prevent this in the future.

Now look where its got me !!! I too am having to give a 'presentation' of sorts - not too formal - but i need your help please.

I have to give Hopes, Fears & Ideas to newly appointed artists who have been commissioned to design and oversee installation of things like privacy screens (kind of full height room divider in a lounge area), multi faith room, flooring , outside pathways etc for new hospital buildings for mental health. It is an Induction Day for the artists with lots of people giving short presentations - OTs , art therapists, someone from the Dementia Services Development Centre who has experience of dementia friendly design etc . I'll have10 minuntes as a Carers Representative along with 2 service users (who do not have dementia ) - 2 of the buildings will be used by people with dementia so its important those have dementia friendly design.

I'd like to give examples of what design features or things in the environment have caused problems for people. eg threshold strips on the floor in doorways often cause people to lift their feet high off the ground or even deter them from walking over them - its as if spatial awareness is not working properly. My Mum once said "Look at that snow out there" - it was July in England. Dads face fell - another knife in the heart - then I saw a patch of gravel glinting in the sun - it looked just like snow!

Its easy to think that abstract art could cause confusion - sorry dont watn to put words in your mouth !!! A lot of new hospitals go in for these art installations now tomake them less clinical looking.

So.... any ideas - for hopes, fears & ideas please . during the design process service users and carers and staff will be 'involved' - probably by workshops or anything more imaginative. the some of the creations may be used in the final work or used to build up designs from.

Over to you please !!! Many thanks.
 

Anne54

Registered User
Sep 16, 2004
147
Nottingham
Dear Chris

In my experience plane washable floors are best, any pattern is a risk.
My husband sees our wood effect floor as humps and hollows.

Anne
 

Chris

Registered User
May 20, 2003
243
Thank you Anne - may I print off your comments and add to my presentation please?

this is new to me - I'd heard of floor patterns that have high contrast causing problems but a wood effect floor has quite subtle colour & pattern differences - is that the case with your floor ?

May I ask - does yur husband talk about what he sees or is it obvious frm the way he walks?

Forgive all the questions but this is going to be so useful in designing new buildings.

Thank you.

Chris
 

Anne54

Registered User
Sep 16, 2004
147
Nottingham
Dear Chris
You can print any of my posts that you like, it is an open forum isn’t it?
He does talk a bit about what he sees but it is more the way he walks, although he has got used to it now. The floor is supposed to be parquet you know the smallish brick shapes in a herringbone design. Yes, it is subtle I got the flooring because I thought it was all one colour i.e. Beachwood, had to get rid of the carpet, I got fed up with trying to wash it.
Anne
 

angela.robinson

Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
520
78
Iagree with the floors being kept plain,Jim has problems with spacial awarness,from the very begining,If he walks on a big pattern or through an opening with a different colour he is trying to step up if he sees a pointed shape on the walls he thinks they are knives there has been problems with very bright colours as well ,he thinks the room is on fire, this as led me to redecorate ,in nuetral shades and change to plain bedding and such.all this was happening before things got really bad and he could show me the next day where the problems were.
Angela
 

storm

Registered User
Aug 10, 2004
269
notts
hi chris,i think that flooring is very important and i have found that mum copes better with light plain coloured floors and i have noticed that patterned wallpaper confusers her because she can see what she thinks are objects in it.I have recently brought a picture of large blocks of bright colourers and she loves this. I have posted before about an artical in the guadian regarding colours it was saying you should use bright coloured plates to encourage a/d suffers to eat because they cannot differentate the food from the plate or table with dark colours.
 

Anne54

Registered User
Sep 16, 2004
147
Nottingham
Dear Storm
I had forgotten that, Fred tries to eat the pattern off the plate it is only one small flower on the side, but he spends ages trying to get it off if I don’t stop him.
Do you ever get to the Alzheimer’s drop in at the Masonic hall in Nottingham? I met another TP user there last month.
Anne
 

storm

Registered User
Aug 10, 2004
269
notts
hi anne, no i wish i could get out more but i am tied to the house careing for mum,you should try a bright plain plate or a white one it really does work it goes the same for cups if the cups are dark they cannot tell the contents from the cups. storm