This enquiry explores the role of design in reimagining the future care home. It focuses particularly on the role of design in the creation of research informed products to promote meaningful engagement between residents in the home, their families and care staff.
Funded by: Research England
Project lead: Claire Craig, Helen Fisher, Tom Maisey
Partners: Kathryn Rawling, Sheff Care
Older people living in care homes have some of the most complex needs of society (BGS 2016). Whilst there is a high level of consensus that participation in meaningful activity leads to increased quality of life for older people (Han et al 2016, Wenborn et al. 2013) repeated studies have highlighted the limited opportunities older people living in care homes currently face when accessing this provision. Mozely’s study, for instance, identified in her study of 100 homes that 80% of the homes provided less than 6 minutes of activity per resident per day. A similar picture was presented in Hancock’s research (2006).
In response to this unmet need design researchers in Lab4Living have been investigating the development of ludic artfacts to support the wellbeing of older people (Craig, 2014, Craig, Chamberlain and Fisher, 2018; Fisher, Craig and Chamberlain, 2019 and Maisey and Craig 2016). To date, residents from over 10 care homes in Sheffield have participated in the study and a number of research informed products have been created. These are currently being evaluated.
The research raises questions about meaning and value in the context of the care home and the potential to re-imagine this space and the interactions that occur there.
Being part of this project has been an extraordinary and wonderful experience, you are transforming the lives of individuals I work alongsideSheff Care Member of Staff