Life’s a beach in innovative approach to dementia care

The Fed in Manchester opens household designed to stimulate positive memories


An innovative residential household for people living with dementia has been opened at welfare charity The Fed’s Heathlands Village in Manchester.

The result of a £1.5 million refurbishment, The Beach takes “the theme of a seaside sensory garden indoors, creating a bright and uplifting environment”, explained The Fed’s Joyce Khan.

“People with dementia can often live very much in the past. The beach theme aims to stimulate positive memories of trips to the seaside and family holidays when growing up or in young adult life.”

The layout of the 20-bed home allows residents space to wander. The ceiling panels are redolent of a natural blue sky and lighting levels are adjusted to help regulate residents’ body clocks.

Doors are painted in different colours with large and clear numbering. Memory boxes by the doors feature photos of family and friends, assisting residents to identify their own room. Furniture includes open sections, helping people to locate clothing and other belongings.

Staff are piloting the use of hand-held devices, enabling them to update care records on the go. This allows them to spend more time with residents.

Thanking donors to the project, Mark Cunningham, CEO of The Fed, added: “Together I think we have created one of the best care homes in the country.”

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