BRE and Loughborough University to build dementia-friendly test home

Construction of a new ‘dementia-friendly’ home aimed at learning how better to support those living with the condition will begin on the BRE Innovation Park this Autumn.

The 100sqm Victorian house will be adapted to cater for different types, and stages, of the debilitating illness, and is aimed at allowing sufferers to live independently by addressing their day-to-day needs.

The tailored features of the converted terraced house have been designed by researchers from Loughborough University and building science centre BRE.

Once complete, it 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.

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 £300,000 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”

The demonstration house is based on the ‘design for dementia principals’ previously developed by Dr Rob McDonald and Bill Halsall at Liverpool John Moores University.

Director of BRE Innovation Parks Dr David Kelly said: “Our aim here is to show how homes can be adapted to better meet the needs of dementia sufferers and delay the need for care by the state for months or even years.

"Currently, the average cost of state care is between £30,000 to £40,000 per annum. Creating environments which allow people to live independently at home for longer could save a significant amount. That money could instead be channelled into research that alleviates the condition and reduces the emotional stress to the individual.”

Dementia care costs families around £18bn a year and affects about 850,000 people in the UK. The figure is expected to rise to more than one million in the UK by 2025.

Two-thirds of the cost of dementia is paid by those who suffer from the condition and their families. This is in contrast to other conditions, such as heart disease and cancer, where the NHS provides care that is free at the point of use.

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email

Features

2017-05-31 14:33

The rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise by two per cent on June 1 to 12 per cent on all non-exempt transactions. Martin Bennison, managing director at construction finance firm Ultimate Finance, explains what this means for UK construction companies.

2017-05-25 09:41

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are gathering more and more frequently at dedicated congresses, exhibitions and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the issue of BIM and the digitisation of the construction industry?

2017-05-10 11:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 15:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 11:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 10:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 11:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 17:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?