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28 June 2017

Health & Care Village to be dementia friendly

Stirling Health & Care Village designed to be dementia friendly

At a recent masterclass at Stirling University, JM Architects and NHS Forth Valley have presented the dementia-friendly design of Stirling Health & Care Village.

A glimpse of what the new Stirling Health & Care Village will look like was revealed at a recent international masterclass on design for dementia and ageing.

The conference, at the Iris Murdoch Building at the University of Stirling, heard how JM Architects have taken advantage of sunlight and the landscape to create a general feeling of well-being, and how the clear spatial layout will assist in orientation; social areas will encourage independence and interaction; the interior design will offer opportunities for reminiscence and memorabilia and colour contrast will help way-finding.

The design concept supports Stirling's ambition to be a dementia-friendly city and the village will be built around a series of public spaces and therapeutic courtyard gardens. In addition to ground level gardens, specially designed roof terraces will offer access to outdoor spaces and fresh air from upper floors and footpaths will encourage access to nearby woodland.

Key design features include:-

Green spaces – a village green, landscaping with new planting and trees, courtyard gardens, roof terraces, and raised planters for gardening. These features will help soften the built environment, create attractive, open and welcoming spaces and provide opportunities to connect with nature.

Entrance plazas and community amenity spaces to encourage sociability and provide spaces for gathering and activities.

Interior design and wayfinding – Single en-suite bedrooms to maintain dignity and privacy which can be adapted to suit individual needs, use of colour, contrast, signage, acoustics and lighting to support wayfinding. Large scale wall graphics and display cabinets to provide opportunities for reminiscence, memorabilia and personalisation and help create a familiar, warm and comforting environment.

Shiona Strachan, Chief Officer of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "The number of people affected by dementia is set to double in the next 25 years and it is estimated that, at any one time, up to one in four patients occupying a hospital bed will suffer from some form of dementia. It is with these figures in mind that we have worked closely with the architects to make sure that this important new development is designed to be dementia-friendly at every level to help meet the increasing demands of an ageing population and set new standards for dementia-friendly design."