Architecture and Ageing: Key Design Elements of Nursing Homes
ECE Director Adam King outlines 5 key considerations when designing a nursing or care home.
The move to a care home is a major life event, relocating from a familiar home to somewhere completely new to gain the care and support needed.
When designing a care home, it is important to recognise the needs of the residents, families and providers while meeting technical requirements such as Care Quality Commission standards.
Connection with nature
External views can significantly improve wellbeing through a sense of connection with the outdoors. Our Blatchington Manor and Abundant Grace projects incorporated large windows with low cills, and external balconies to offer excellent views and the opportunity to access fresh air at both ground and first floor levels. Having an outbuilding such as an orangery or day room in the grounds also offers activity and interest away from the main house.
Decentralised social spaces
Having a variety of social spaces on different levels allows access to common areas and activities without the need to navigate lifts or stairs. In addition to smaller lounges and dining areas, popular options include an art room, hair salon and a library or games room. These offer an accessible range of social and quiet spaces that enrich daily life at the home.
A home not an institution
The feeling of living, visiting or working at a care home should be welcoming and enjoyable. Varied spatial arrangement and carefully considered material choices and detailing are key to creating a homely atmosphere. Long corridors should be avoided and broken up with wider sections, for example with generous entrances to bedrooms and views into communal areas.
Decentralised support spaces
Proximity to staff spaces reduces time and effort getting to frequently used areas and accessing essential items, allowing more time and energy for caring. Spreading stores and nurse’s stations around a home and on different levels provides quick and easy access for staff.
The therapeutic and enriching benefits of sensory gardens are well known, particularly for those with dementia. These spaces offer residents, visitors and staff a place to go to be with nature. Encouraging activity and engagement outdoors can also help maintain and improve both physical and mental health for all.
ECE specialise in care home design, a selection of our track record can be found here
Please get in touch if we can assist with your care home project.Share this