The comic strip is one of a series that begin to suggest how care homes which are indicated by different colours could work together to allow residents a more personalised activity experience.

Year | 2012
Location | Sheffield, UK
Client | Howard Waddicor, Commissioning Officer for Adult Social Care at Sheffield City Council

Sheffield Care Communities is a project commissioned by Sheffield City Council that aims to improve the quality of residential care home design and care homes’ links to their local community.

The brief was developed alongside research into existing care environments and consultations with both staff and residents, leading to the three key products; Resident Engagement Card Game, Community Care Activity Network and Spatial Development Toolkit.

The Community Care Activity Network explores the social networks between homes and the facilities that they provide. It investigates how homes could link together so that by working as one they may provide a stronger activity program allowing residents new opportunities within the community. It may also identify gaps in facility provision and the potential that new homes have to provide these.

The Resident Engagement Card Game is a tool to help understand where people think a care home should be located, its spatial organisation, the activities that take place both in and out of the home, and the boundaries between private and public space. It has been created to raise new discussions with both existing and prospective residents through the use of a familiar format.

Through the use of the card game we gained important insights into the views of residents which proved to be invaluable for the development of the project. The council intend to use the card game during upcoming consultations. We believe that care providers and developers should see this tool as an opportunity to break away from the questionnaire and think about care homes on a more personal level, putting the client (the resident) first.

A Spatial Development Toolkit enables developers and architects, who may not be experts in the field of care design, to consider alternative design solutions. Care home design challenges include The Hospital Reception, The Endless Corridor, The Front Door, The ‘Private’ Bedroom, The Lifeless Lounge and The Forbidden Garden. The guide poses a number of ideas for each of these themes, which may then be mixed and matched to improve the quality of life for residents and provide a better working environment.

The project team hope that this work will start new discussions about the future of care home design and integration, and that the tools we have designed will go on to set a new standard for the design of care homes in Sheffield, possibly even providing a model to which other authorities aspire to.

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