Environments, a Care Architects approach
Care Architects, introduction
We believe in caring environments that support wellbeing through maximising the opportunity for direct sensory informed choices and journeys. Each space and place throughout a journey should be clearly meaningful, in terms of its purpose, while offering a different 'ambience'.
Places can be more secluded, more sheltered, more open, more cosy, more active, lighter, darker, noisier, quieter, more natural, more techie, more crafty, more musical, more bookie...etc Even a chair is not just a place to sit, it's a place to be, a place to experience something... These spontaneously chosen experiences in everyday day life re-affirm our sense of self, our personhood, they support the establishment of our existence as an individual - our social context, the ways we give, learn, connect, take notice and become active. In this way they help us sustain, even in a fragile state, the development of our wellbeing. No part within any care environment should be bland, corporate or passive.
What does mind in mind mean?
Mind in mind means going beyond person centred, it means working hard to research and as far as possible 'experience' through understanding the lived experience of individuals living with a given condition or syndrome. You also need to do the same for their care team, the management and even the business owners. These elements must all work successfully together, with the environment to produce the best possible care for that particular care model and budget.
But how does all this become a new kind of caring environment?
Please come with us on an experience based journey below, starting with journeys from a residential room, and then journeys from intermediary spaces onwards throughout the care environment.
From the bed or chair of a room, within the wider care environment:
From my bed I can see a range of inviting, safe and interesting views. I can see the loo, a little window to the outside, a small window to peek into the wider shared environment from, a place to sit with things I like to do. I can see a pleasant place to be by a much larger window, it looks inviting, if my care model allows I could go on from there to my own little out-door area and then on into the wider world. If things look interesting through my window into the shared space, I might open my door, and just outside it I can find another little space of my own, a chair, my belongings all there make me feel safe, when I close my door, I don't shut away the things that support my identity and build my confidence. I have time in this safe spot to take in the choices in the environment around me, and when I see someone I want to meet, or an activity I like, or just another spot i'd rather be, I'm off, no need to worry, it's easy to find my way home, it's clear which room is mine, there's all my stuff there!
From intermediary spaces to the wider environment:
Because my environment is corridor free I can see from this safe intermediary space all kinds of different places, I don't have to know what I want, I just feel a need and follow the choice that seems to suit it, living in the moment is so easy here. That's what makes being here easy to enjoy. If I need help, i'm not lost in a corridor, not knowing which way to go, I can wave at one of the care staff, or they just spot me, it's not a huge room. 'Open plan' space is well landscaped and domestic, a bit like home in a funny way. I get to know my neighbours, and love the way the garden seems to come right into our home, its so easy to get outside, or find a place or activity that matches my mood, or sit to one side and watch the goings on.
The staff perspective:
Life here is so much easier, we are well briefed on what the care model is and the whole place is designed to support it and the key activities that form our community here. Because there are no corridoors, and my team focus on looking after one domestic (and beautiful) cluster, we can support everyone to makes it their own lovely home. We can see to the thresholds of each door, so we know who gets up when, and get to know everyone easily. We spot their mood, and make the things they like to do ready for them to find. I don't spend my day running up and down corridors, everything is just here for people to respond to, engage with and enjoy in their own way. I'm starting to love caring again, we really all work together.
Arrangements, cluster sizes, storeys, purpose, are all flexible depending on the nature of your care, staff numbers, activity focus, model etc. Our projects are designed to fit your needs.
The first step is always listening to you. Developing constructive dialogue, joining our expertise with yours, ensuring we create the best fit, flexible and future proofed environment required.
We believe in low, easy maintenance care buildings that stand the test of time, arranged to support self motivated wellbeing, the care team, minimise required staff members, easy low maintenance and utility costs. Flexible buildings that can move with times and your needs.