Designing dementia nursing and residential care homes

Hadjri, Karim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8243-8396, Faith, Verity and McManus, Maria (2012) Designing dementia nursing and residential care homes. Journal of Integrated Care, 20 (5). pp. 322-340. ISSN 1476-9018

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This study seeks to appraise the design of nursing and residential care homes for people with dementia in Northern Ireland using the design audit checklist developed by the Dementia Services Development Centre – DSDC.

The appraisal used postal questionnaires, based on the DSDC essential design criteria, that were sent to facility managers. This was conducted in order to establish the level of compliance with these criteria to achieve a dementia-friendly home, and to ascertain whether there are any noticeable differences between nursing homes and residential care homes.

The study identified the types of homes that were seen as failing to meet most of the DSDC design criteria and, in particular, which criteria are not met according to their managers.

Results from this sample suggest that nursing homes align better with DSDC criteria than residential care homes. The study concludes that the majority of managers perceive their care homes to meet over 50 percent of the essential criteria, with just over 5 percent below the 50 percent mark.

Research limitations/implications–
Given that this study used postal questionnaires more research is needed in order to validate results. Behavioural and policy implications are crucial aspects that will be the subject of future research which will involve post-occupancy evaluation.
Practical implications–
More attention to dementia-friendly building design needs to be taken into consideration by residential care homes, and more improvement would still be required by nursing homes not meeting all criteria.

The paper highlights the importance of dementia-friendly building design and the requirements for more care in designing and fitting care environments for people with dementia.

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