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Hull’s dementia-friendly care developments achieve Gold certificate

Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) presented the prestigious Gold Design Award to Redwood Glades, Cecil Gardens and Harrison Park in Hull for their dementia-friendly design. The DSDC is an international centre of knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of people with dementia.

Redwood Glades, Cecil Gardens and Harrison Park opened two years ago and were built by housing association Riverside, working in partnership with Hull City Council. There are 316 extra care apartments across the three sites and Riverside looks after the housing management services. Each scheme provides independent living to people aged over 18 with a range of care and support needs including those with dementia.

Justine Homer, granddaughter of 82-year-old Mavis Beever who moved to Redwood Glades with her husband Jim in 2017, says the features help her grandma cope with her dementia.  Justine said:

The blinds on the mirrors in the toilets really help with my grandma’s dementia and we always pull the blind down. The light, airy feel and décor of the complex helps with her mood and for her to recognise where she is going, including the windows along the corridors which give a feeling of space.

Each building is designed to cater for residents with dementia, using a range of techniques to help them maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Colour-coded corridors with different coloured front doors to each apartment help residents navigate their way around the development. Striking artwork and other features throughout the development act as memory prompts to further increase levels of familiarity.

Wandering loops in the landscaped gardens allow residents who like to walk, often an outward sign of the condition, the chance to do so without ever having to come to an end or change their course.

Lifts are fitted with roller blinds to cover over mirrors as some people can find their own reflections distressing when their minds tell them they are much younger than they are.

Other elements include signage, sensory gardens, memory items, memory corners and activities that stimulate interest, reduce isolation and the feeling of being lonely, and increase well-being.

Alan Marples, Riverside’s Area Manager for Hull Extra Care, said:

We are very proud to have been awarded the Gold Design Award by the DSDC, which is a great accolade and testament to the design and detail given to the buildings to ensure that each site is dementia-friendly.

The centre commended us for our attention to detail and adopting the DSDC design principles. Each building is devised to cater for residents with dementia to help them maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Residents have the balance of independence and reassurance to enjoy the privacy of their own home, but have the comfort of knowing care is available when they need it.

Each site is also a community hub with facilities such as communal gardens, a restaurant and hair salon for residents and people living nearby to use.

Image credit: Riverside

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