First Supported Living Facility for Young Dementia UK Homes
There are over 600 people in Oxfordshire with young onset dementia and over 150 of these require specialist residential support – a fifth of these live in West Oxfordshire. Currently there is no alternative for these people but to move into a conventional care home, where the average age of residents is 84 years.
YoungDementia UK Homes aim to provide an alternative to going into care for 12 people with young onset dementia, when they can no longer live at home. The aim is to enable people to live as independently as possible, in their own accommodation, but with support available 24/7. Staff will work as ‘enablers’, helping residents to pursue their hobbies and interests, socialise with friends and family and participate in activities outside the facility.
Oxford Architects have developed the plans in line with the optimum design for people with young onset dementia laid out by organisations including the University of Stirling and the King’s Fund.
The main aim is to create a ‘home from home’ which does not feel like an institutionalised facility and which supports people’s independence, enhances way-funding and promotes wellbeing.
Low level windows will enable people to see outside from a seated position (and letting in lots of natural light). The layout introduces plenty of informal places for resting and socialising outside the main café, lounge areas, and outside the building, and doorways along corridors are staggered.
Consideration has also been given to the practical needs of those living and working in the home, with therapy room, family room, secure storage areas, staff /administrative rooms, a meeting room, as well as a shared kitchen and social areas.
The relatively low height of the scheme (all the residential accommodation is kept under 3.6m) and green roofs aim to help the development blend into the natural landscape.