Care Homes for Older People

Care Homes for Older People

Care Homes for Older People

Care Homes for Older People

Synopsis

The provision of care for older people has changed radically over the past ten years and building facilities need to reflect this change. Written by an architect and specialist in the design of residential and nursing homes, this book describes the needs of the users, provides detailed design guidance and summarises building procurement techniques. The commissioners of building work and their designers of buildings will find this an invaluable reference.

Excerpt

Care homes for older people is a book for the commissioners of building work and their designers and builders. The profile of care providers in Great Britain is radically different from that often years ago; new buildings are being built, old ones upgraded, independent operators and trusts are taking over care responsibilities from the Local and Health Authorities. Care homes may offer day care and peripatetic services supporting older people in their own homes. Community Care legislation has brought change to everyone involved in the care of older people. Alongside the revolution in care provision are new techniques of procurement and production of buildings. This book deals with the design of care homes; it will chart the needs of the user, provide a detailed design guide and summarize the management of the building process.

Design for frail older people is a specialist area. Most of the built environment is so unsuitable for older people that they are unable to use it without assistance. The provision of residential buildings is highly regulated; the building users have specific needs. Methods of building procurement are evolving, so the personnel involved in the production of a building may alter over the life of a project. Patterns of care are changing. While there is no substitute for expertise and experience, this book aims to give a working knowledge of the area for those who become involved at whatever stage of the process.

The book is in three sections which can be used independently. The first part of the book concerns the building users and their needs. This includes staff, regulators and officials, relatives and visitors as well as the residents. User needs are identified from the perspective of an architect, not a medical or sociological expert, with a view to identifying the constraints on building design.

The second part is the design guide. This may be used as a desk top reference book. There is anthropometric information, space by space check lists which include illustrated space standards and items of commonly used equipment. There is a section on interior design dealing with colour, lighting and acoustics. Services and systems are covered where they are specific to the building type. The design guide concludes with the design of external spaces.

The last part of the book is concerned with project management. Statutory procedures and inspections which are required to register a care home are described, and finally the management of the building process including building procurement techniques is discussed.

There is a series of Technical Supplements at the end. These contain ancilliary information such as address lists which will be of use to some, but not all readers.

Working with the very old is a rewarding and privileged job. Care homes are inhabited by definition by people of resilience and fortitude, many of whom live with chronic disabilities. Perhaps the majority have experienced hardship, danger or war, the kind of difficulties unimaginable to the post-war generation largely responsible for their care. The challenge for designers and commissioners of buildings is to enable the people who will inhabit them to live out their lives in dignity with autonomy, comfort and choice, making the best of their remaining physical resources.

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