Faithful+Gould Creates Dementia Friendly Social Space at the University of Salford

John Rayson
Faithful+Gould, working in partnership with University of Salford Estates Team, has completed work on a new ‘Dementia Hub’ for the Salford Institute for Dementia in time for its official launch during Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May).

Committed to being ‘dementia friendly,’ the university’s Institute is engaged in research and education to support the design and care for people living with dementia. Faithful+Gould was tasked by the Salford Institute for Dementia to create a social space to act as a ‘nerve centre’ for research, education and engagement activities between its associates and the wider community, while acting as a support network for carers.

Consultation workshops between Faithful+Gould and the institute’s associates, coupled with close liaison with Professor Anthea Innes, the Coles-Medlock Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia and research fellow Dr Monika Sharma, resulted in the development of a scheme to reduce stress and ease decision making for people living with dementia, while encouraging independence and social integration.

"This has been an incredibly exciting project to work on," says Faithful+Gould project manager George McDonough. "I’ve been seconded to the University’s estates department and it’s been fascinating to see how important stakeholder engagement has been in the project’s success, with feedback from people living with dementia as well as their carers. Small, but key, design decisions make an enormous difference to the success of such a project."

Vital considerations and design details to ensure the Hub is dementia friendly have included wayfinding markings to help with navigation, domestic styling to encourage a homely feel and external ground markings leading from the car park to the space. Elsewhere, the floors avoid coverings featuring patterns or shiny materials and finishes to furniture use bright and contrasting colours, while in the kitchen the cupboards have vision panels and there are dementia friendly appliances.

Faithful+Gould has considerable experience in dementia-related work having project managed a number of schemes with universities and relevant organisations to carry out research to further understand and develop the industry standards in care and extra care, with dementia being at the forefront. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease and Faithful+Gould, to celebrate its 70th anniversary, is launching its 704SE7ENTY campaign, an initiative to raise £70,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society by cycling 7,000 miles in 70 days.

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