Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Mental/behavioural healthcare / New models of care

European Healthcare Design 2019

A final move to your own house

By Femke Feenstra 16 Aug 2019 0

Many people suffering from dementia are able to reside in their own house initially but eventually end up in a residential care centre. The talk examines a new concept that provides a sense of ownership and control for residents – a feeling of having their own home.

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At this point, these people lose the feeling of having their own place or being able to manage their own lives.

Purpose: Residential care centre Cornelia by Allévo, in the Dutch city of Zierikzee, is developing a new building aimed at providing residents with their own home in the last phase of their lives. All residents will have their own front door, leading to a park. Every visitor will be able to use this front door, with residents able to go in and out of their own volition. The paper examines whether this concept provides a sense of ownership and control for residents – a feeling of having their own home.

Practical application: Ninety-three residencies will be built in the care centre. Residencies at the front of the building have a front door to the outside and a door to the central area of the building, where communal rooms are situated. Because residencies aren’t situated immediately next to a communal room there are more possibilities to place residents with like-minded people and according to the same interests. Visitors can park their cars near the front door or put their bicycles against the outside of their loved one’s house. The covered area next to the front door offers a space to sit outside, with a bench and wooden frame offering protection from the sun.

Outcomes and implications: Can having a personal front door provide a feeling for residents of having their own home? Does it help to have a choice when to go outside? Is it nice to be able to choose between different communal rooms to spend your time, such as a kitchen or a music room? This new building at Cornelia care centre seeks to return a sense of home ownership to people with dementia.