Walking with purpose - tackling boredom creatively

When it comes to the environment it is the most influential and the most overlooked asset any care home has. That’s not to say there aren’t some really good examples such as the #Sunrise property in Edgbaston. Great team, great philosophy, great building, and the management has followed through within the home and at senior level. I’ve worked there recently myself and there’s a mind-set of constant improvement at this home. If there’s a downside, homes like this charge a premium. But that’s the point, this type of care home environment is only available at a premium. It shouldn’t and needn’t be that way. Stimulating and appropriate environments can be made available in every home. In every home there are opportunities to use the available space to reinforce the locality (sense of place) and reflect the profile of the population to create an engaging and relevant environment. May I strenuously point out at this juncture that this need not be an expensive exercise. It’s more about chang…

Colour and the psychology of colour Part 2

Colour and the Psychology of Colour Part 2 The other day we were discussing publishing something as ‘Part 1’ or ‘First Edition’ and how often Part 2 never seems to materialise, newsletters being the most common example! Well guess what, here we are with Part 2 of my post on colour, dementia and how they relate.

“Where’s your evidence?” In the early days I was right out on a limb and presenting my designs to Hospitals and Care Homes around the country (and occasionally abroad) and I was often challenged with this question. It was a fair question and I became fairly adept at dealing with it. The problem was always that I had to say I didn’t have any evidence to support the effectiveness of the signs. Instead I would refer to research about colour and text etc in relation to people with dementia and explain how the products had been designed to accommodate the findings. It seemed to work in most situations, and it was good fun too. I’ve always enjoyed being challenged and invariably came aw…
Where is the emotional support for carers?
As the media pesters the government prematurely about their end-game for this life changing tragedy, what’s the outlook for carers who have lived with this? Those on the frontline selflessly living amongst it literally 24/7 to maintain care and reduce risk to people within and without the home? Hearing my partner, a care home manager, unable to begin to describe her day because it’s too distressing, says so much to me about the gravity of the situation. She is one tough cookie with 30 years experience and a consummate professional. If she’s finding it overwhelming, the stress and difficulty of being the person responsible for a home is clearly off the scale. The awful reality is, many care homes have become insular communities filled with stress, fear and death. Occupancy levels will recover quickly, but what about the psychological and emotional stain this experience will leave on these workers? Those who’ve held a hand as someone dies just an…
Colour and the psychology of colour. Part 1

‘Back in the day’ as they say, when I was a complete ignoramus where dementia was concerned, I was challenged to design signage that would be effective for people with dementia. Without regurgitating previous content from my grand tally of two posts to date, I did my homework to discover what issues people will typically have when experiencing the cognitive influences of a dementia. From this I created a ‘hit list’ of issues to tackle and designed-in elements to specifically address each of these issues. If it sounds methodical, it was, and it was logical rather than scientific. I needed to know what the issues were more than the science behind them and this was what I felt I needed to effect a succesful design.

To recap, the design features are:

ColourImage contentShapeMaterialTextContrast Durability I intend to discuss all these in due course but for this post I’m focusing on the subject of colour and dementia.

So as I was saying, ‘back in …