Specialist dementia unit launched by the Abbeyfield Society
The Abbeyfield Society has picked up the keys to its new dementia care home in Winnersh.
The charity, which provides housing and care for people aged 55 and over, has spent three years designing and developing the pioneering site just outside Reading, working in partnership with specialist developer Castleoak.
The Castleoak development team identified the optimum site for Abbeyfield’s first purpose-built specialist dementia care home, then progressed to secure planning permission. In parallel, the team evolved the innovative design, which was then pre-fabricated at Castleoak’s in-house timber frame factory all to enable an efficient, low-risk build programme.
The 60-bed home, which will be welcoming residents from July, boasts an abundance of unique interior and exterior features created to enhance the quality of life for those living with dementia.
Its innovative design, which is not dissimilar to the GCHQ building in Cheltenham, is the first circular care home in the UK. A very-common symptom of dementia is the urge to ‘wander’, and the cyclical corridors allow for this without residents ever coming to a definite end point.
The home also features sensory gardens, a cinema room, reminiscence areas, and daily activities that all come together to encourage a stimulating and interesting environment.
Abbeyfield’s head of development, Richard Virr, said: “Dementia care in the UK has never been carried out in this way before and we’re really hoping that Abbeyfield can lead the way in providing a blueprint for the future.”