BRE to build home for dementia sufferers
BRE has teamed up with Loughborough University to build a new “dementia-friendly” home aimed at helping those that suffer with the condition live a more independent life.
The model home will be built on the BRE Innovation Park in Watford this autumn. The Victorian converted terraced house will be adapted to cater for different types, and stages, of the illness, with its tailored features designed by researchers from Loughborough University and BRE.
Once complete, the £300,000 project will act as a show home and give developers, care providers and families an opportunity to learn about better ways to equip a home to help people with dementia.
As part of Loughborough’s ongoing research in this area, academics will also study how the features are used with a view to further improving ways to support homeowners with dementia.
Among the converted building’s features will include:
- Clear lines of sight and colour-coded paths through the home that help guide people towards each specific room.
- Increased natural lighting – proven to help people stay alert during the day and to sleep better at night.
- Noise reduction features – to lower the chances of stress.
- Simple switches and heating controls, and safety sensors in high risks areas such as the kitchen.
The project draws expertise from a number of specialisms at Loughborough, from the schools of building and engineering, design and sport – and is based on a wealth of dementia research carried out at the University.
Professor Jacqui Glass, of Loughborough’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, is the university’s principal investigator on the project.
She said: “Most people experiencing dementia wish to remain at home, so the design and construction of new dwellings or home conversions are paramount. With this project we want to show how design solutions can be to be easily integrated within most current homes and communities to improve people’s lives.”