The move into a care home has been conceptualised as one of the most difficult transitions in later life. At times this transition can be unplanned, occurring as a consequence of a life-event or crisis and individuals may as a result find themselves suddenly placed in an alien environment in an unfamiliar parts of a city. This can lead to feelings of disconnection and dis-orientation.
Project team: Claire Craig, Helen Fisher
Funded by: Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
The research enquiry ‘photography in care homes’ (Craig 2014) highlighted the importance of finding ways to support residents to gain a sense of place and space and thereby experience a sense of belonging. This was found to be fundamental to wellbeing.
The present enquiry responded to the findings of this study and was undertaken in care homes in the North of England. Lab4Living design researcher Helen Fisher worked with residents and staff to develop a series of 3-dimensional interactive maps. Through an iterative ‘research through design’ process, a range of tools for orientation and meaning-making were created. These are currently being trialed across a number of care homes.
Findings to date suggest that the maps act as mechanisms though which individuals are able to communicate important facets of their life and through this process staff in the homes are able to build significant relationships.
The resources continue to create a focus for meaningful conversations and a way to discover who people are.Activity Co-ordinator