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Design for Dementia

BRE is to build a dementia home demonstrator on the BRE Innovation Park in 2016. This will inform the design of future buildings to help people with dementia live independently for longer. The design is based on research involving people with dementia and their carers. The outcome will create a platform to sharing knowledge between the healthcare system and construction industry specifically around improving health, wellness and mental health.

Why a dementia build?

In the UK there are currently 850,000 people with dementia equivalent to the population of Birmingham, and this is predicted to increase to 1 million people by 2025.  Most of them are aged over 65 and two thirds of people with dementia live at home. Dementia is a growing issue associated with the demography of an ageing population.

As people get older, their housing needs often change. Some people need support to be able to continue living in their own homes. Some people, of all ages, have disabilities that mean their homes need to be adapted.

Living well with Dementia is a priority for health and social care system and for the elderly  as it enables people with dementia to live well in their homes and at the same time to ease the impact of dementia on the NHS.

The BRE Dementia home project will provide a vision and clarity to those who require or specify Dementia friendly buildings and could lead to a significant improvement in home outcomes for people with dementia.

Project Aims

To build a demonstration Dementia Home on the BRE Innovation Park at Watford

  • Help people with dementia live independently for longer.
  • Create the optimal living space and adapting appropriate technologies.
  • Showcase current good and best practice concepts, adaptations innovations and thinking.
  • Apply a design philosophy of ‘Long Life, Loose Fit’ to create a comfortable aspirational home, one which is a good place to live for anyone.
  • Sustainability, affordability and running costs will also be a key considerations.
  • Provide a test bed for ongoing research on Dementia, buildings and technologies which impact on health, comfort, safety and dignity.

Project outcomes

  • Provide a showcase demonstrator to help share dementia understanding and knowledge for adapting housing for the elderly with special requirements
  • Provide a platform for information exchange and discussion as well as develop a dementia home template and/ or rules of thumb for others to use
  • The outcomes are intended to be useful for local authorities, social care, housing organisations, third sector, commissioners, primary care, acute care sectors, care homes as well as building professionals
  • It will enable different parts of the healthcare system and its supply chain to share a common understanding of the requirements of people with dementia

Get involved

We cannot create the dementia home on our own. BRE is therefore looking for partners, supporters and sponsors to provide knowledge, funding, materials and a contractor to build the dementia home. We are also interested in innovative products and technologies which help reduce building running costs and assistive technologies which help elderly people stay safe and well in their homes.

To register to find out about the Dementia Home Network email enquiries@bre.co.uk

Want to help make this build a reality? Contact Tina Tillard to discuss partnership, sponsorship or contributing to the build.

About our knowledge partners

The dementia friendly home is to be based upon the cumulative knowledge gained from wider research partnership into ‘Design for Dementia’ by the Halsall Lloyd Partnership in conjunction with Mersey Care NHS, John Moores University Liverpool, Innovate Dementia Europe, Intereg IVB, Dementia Action Alliance and the SURF (Service Users Reference Forum).

A distinguishing feature of this work was the participatory nature of the approach, involving health professionals, academics and carers along with people living with dementia into “Design for Dementia Home”.

The Design for Dementia Home was published in February 2016.

Our current partners include