2. To activity and beyond! The 5 point model, a specialist care architects approach
Architectonicus > Dementia Care Architects
The Architectonicus designed care environment is centred on inclusion, integration, independence and individuals. Our 5 point model for activity and beyond supports both carers and residents. Our focus in the detail design, is to fit your unique model of care perfectly. We listen to you, your needs and requirements. We pay attention to your budget and care philosophy to create a building that is a leading example of sustainable excellence in its class.
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A corridor free environment reduces travel distances for staff and residents. A carefully structured open plan day space enables visual / sensory based wayfinding and a real independent choice for residents as to their route, destination, and activity. This naturaly encourages engagement and sense of self through active independent choice making. 'Wandering' through the care environment becomes a meaningful exploration of surroundings in which one can find through one's sense experience, prefered places and activities, just like life outside care.
360 Direct View
This means that staff, from their care hub / kitchenette, can view all of the room thresholds for their domestic scale cluster. They can unobtrusively give passive supervision to carefully defined activity areas within the open plan space. This means care is delivered where and when it is needed. Team work is maximised because the care staff are always within sight or easy voice contact with each other. Quality care time is increased due to reduced travel distances and less time wasted 'checking up' on individuals around sprawling corridors. Opportunity for and probability of abuse is hugely reduced as there are no secluded areas, and staff in need of support can easily receive it. Happier staff can lead to happier residents, the 360 view encourages collaborative care and changes psychology from 'checking up' on residents to taking part in care together.
Integrated Sensory Gardens
Where possible, sensory gardens should be integrated into the room cluster living space, allowing for clear independent navigation to safe outside environments. We are able to design this in such a way that even the outdoor space is visible by the carers from their hub or within the day space. This is beneficial as it allows for truly independent experience of the outdoors, but safe in the knowledge that help will be there if you need it.
Integrated Domestic Activity
Rather than conceal daily domestic activity and utilities, we make it possible for them to be a feature through design. This helps re-affirm a sense of everyday life, and gives meaning to each day of the week. Domestic routines are clearly visible making particular views also more meaningful and not simply passive. Life as normal should be clearly apparent throughout the care experience. Each space should be a non-clinical place that feels uniquely belonging to the residents.
Integrated Sensory Scale
Where possible throughout a caring environment we recommend developing a sensory scale. Creating choice for residents with higher or lower sensory needs. Improving wellbeing and active choice for people with preferences for particular types of sensory engagement. This can reduce anxiety, incidents and increase the chance of your residents finding places within the care environment that they feel safer, and more at home.
We have developed these innovative concepts, and are working with care clients to implement them in their projects. But we always do this on your terms, we don't dictate, but rather work with you positively to develop the best possible environment that matches and optimises your care model. It's always about you, your site, your staff and the unique people you care for.