Winnersh care home is designed to support those with dementia.

Qa has been commissioned by Abbeyfield, a national charity providing housing with care for older people, to evaluate their innovative new dementia friendly care home, Winnersh in Berkshire.

Winnersh has been designed with the needs of its residents and their relatives in mind and includes specially designed features such as:

  • Curves, rather than straight lines for walls
  • No dead end corridors
  • Memory boxes with cherished objects, to mark the location of each resident’s bedroom
  • Colour coded bedroom doors, styled as a house front door
  • Access to outdoor space from each resident’s bedroom
  • Good levels of security for the outdoor space

Additional facilities include gardens, library, hairdresser/barber, ‘gentleman’s lounge’, a play area, tea room, spa baths and an extensive programme of daily activities.

All staff members (clinical/care staff and others) have undergone training including a ‘virtual dementia tour’ so that they can empathise with the sensory confusion and frustration that can be experienced by people with dementia. There is a residents’ engagement group where residents’ are able to express their preferences for running the home. Family members are supported and offered the dementia tour too.

Study aims and approach

The aim of the evaluation is to assess what difference the environment and care at Winnersh makes to the residents. Some residents move in directly from their own home; others come after a period in other care homes.

Qa will apply mixed methods of primary data collection including surveys, interviews, groups, workshops, observation and ethnographic approaches (photos, video, diaries, artwork) over a period of around six to nine months to collect data from clinicians, relatives and residents.

Clinical and care monitoring data will be collected and analysed, covering levels and types of medication, falls, memory states, emotional wellbeing, awareness levels, mobility, appetite, sleep patterns and social activity.

Data will be collected at baseline, as residents move into Winnersh, with follow-up data collected at several time points over a six month period.

Specific factors to be examined via surveys with staff may include residents’ changing need for certain medications, anxiety levels, sleep patterns, falls and engagement with activities.

Data collected from carers/relatives and residents will cover similar topics in a more qualitative way as well as other broader quality of life issues.

The results of the study will be used by Abbeyfield to further develop its specialist care facility for residents with dementia.

Find out more about Winnersh

See more about the HAPPI design guidelines that Winnersh abided by.

For more information contact julie.wrigley@qaresearch.co.uk or 01904 632039