The Dementia Plus facilities at Kitwood House are based on our award-winning facilities at Whittle Hall in Warrington and at Hulton House in Preston. It is a bespoke designed facility, caring for residents with more complex and challenging behaviours. Each household can accommodate up to eleven residents. The design scheme is based on recommendations of good practice from Stirling University and focuses on providing excellent facilities. As well as being fit for purpose, the care home retains the luxury feel for which an L&M Healthcare home is renowned.
Decorated in light calming colours with colour contrasts, each household is used effectively to facilitate independent living. Handrails on the main corridors are contrasted against the wall which helps to aid residents to find their way around the household. Flooring is the same throughout communal areas, corridors and bedrooms with no stark contrasts at floor level which can potentially pose a hazard. Furniture has been chosen in colours that contrast with walls and flooring, and specialist dementia signage and directional signage is located around the household to aid orientation.
Each household has been designed to allow plenty of space in all areas. All corridors are extremely wide, which helps to reduce the potential feelings of being restricted and contained. Bedrooms and communal areas are much larger than traditional homes. Seated themed areas have also been created to provide an area to aid de-escalation and to support with engagement in reminiscence.
The themed interactive areas within each unit depict daily life – such as a market cafe, shops, a bus stop, a launderette, a ticket office a newsagent and a Rempod railway carriage (a virtual train carriage which provides an interactive and immersive experience for residents). Each is brought to life with everyday items you would expect to find in the environment, such as a bus ticket and bus conductor’s hat at the bus stop, newspaper stand at the newsagents. These areas are also used as part of our daily activities. For example, we could take a train journey to visit our favourite places or we might take the bus to town. We could wait at the bus stop, buy a ticket and chat for a while about what we’ll buy when we get there. Once we arrive, we can go to the shop and buy something for tea.
All bedroom doors have individual full wrap graphics in colours which contrast to the surrounding walls and to help residents identify their own room. Each bedroom has a name plate on the door. All bedrooms have en-suite facilities with a spacious wet room shower, sink and toilet. All toilet seats are in colours that contrast with the toilet and en-suite surfaces to aid in identifying the toilet.
The main shower room has a coloured dignity screen to aid privacy for our residents and is very spacious to aid with moving and handling. It is practical and yet still beautifully decorated.
The garden is easily accessible from the lounge and dining area with several double patio doors which open into an enclosed dementia friendly garden with a clearly defined pathway. Residents have open access to the garden which is fully secure. There is also a balcony on the upstairs floor with a seating area which enables easy access for our first-floor residents to enjoy outdoor space and fresh air.
From our experience with our two other specialist dementia homes (Whittle Hall and Hulton House), we know that calm spacious environments have had a positive impact on our residents, all of whom have all responded well to the therapeutic support from our staff and are comfortable in their purpose-designed surroundings.
We have witnessed some amazing magic ‘breakthrough’ moments that have significantly improved the quality of some of our residents’ lives and have been extremely rewarding to staff.