As the human race continues to prove it’s quite resilient to shuffling off this mortal coil, there comes the issue of an increasing number of people having to take residence at a care home. This can be for a number of reasons, but one of the common factors is that those who have far surpassed the living age of our caveman ancestors are simply unable to look after themselves without risk of harm coming to them.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are two of the ailments that many care home residents may suffer from. Whilst they can be devastating to witness from an outside perspective, there is somewhat of a silver lining in how care home architecture can still offer joy and comfort to residents, alongside reassurance to families.
This silver lining comes in the form of a sensory architecture garden design. Put simply, this is an outdoor space which focuses on utilising all the senses the human body can be attuned to, with the goal of enriching the experience of using these senses. These senses are sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Whilst a multisensory architecture design can be enjoyed by all residents and visitors, studies show how they can particularly help those with dementia to reconnect with lost memories as these are said to be linked heavily to sense.
Having a sensory garden project incorporated within care home architecture designs is not an alien concept to our Shrewsbury architects team, with several multisensory architecture designs and sensory gardens having been successfully completed to date and further projects of a similar ilk on the go. Such projects have become a mainstay of our workload and are often ones in which they find they can flex their innovative and creative muscles most freely for a number of reasons. Think of the senses that you’re considering when developing a sensory architecture garden design, almost the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, with each one contributing to the final outcome.
Our Shrewsbury architects consider all the senses. For example, the visual sense, such as plants and foliage that are vibrant in colour, like daisies or roses, may be ideal. But, there’s a whole plethora of exotic plants that have more of a unique look to them that are equally standout. Not only are visually striking plants an option, but a water feature, statues, or even coloured solar lights (which are also eco-friendly) could all be included in the multisensory architecture garden design to aid with the visual sense.
Smell is another sense to consider when looking at care home architecture multisensory design. Alongside the scents that flowers and foliage may bring to the sensory architecture garden design. More exotic plants could have a unique texture too them as well, as could certain trees that could be touched. One consideration is not to have spiky plants or thorny shrubbery, just to be safe. Not only this, but herb gardens or vegetable patches could enhance the taste aspect, as residents can try what’s in front of them. Just be careful not to eat any funny berries- don’t want to end up in Wonderland.
The final sense, sound. This is easy enough to incorporate into a sensory architecture garden design during the design process if you’re a clever boffin like those in our Shrewsbury architects team here at Johnson Design Partnership. Different plants will make different noises as they blow in the wind, whilst the aforementioned water feature may provide calming sounds of an aquatic nature. Wind chimes are another simple yet effective item to consider, as is the inclusion of speakers that could play any sound you wish.
Each multisensory architecture project undertaken by our Shrewsbury architects aims to be as unique as it can. Whilst there may be similarities in a particular type of plant used, or the inclusion of a water feature – there’s still a plethora of options to choose from, in particular, our sensory architecture garden projects allow us to unleash our creative juices! Flowing at full speed, we aim to create architectural designs that inspire others to drive forward innovation in the future of care home architecture projects too.
It’s creativity and innovation that play a key role in the philosophy behind the work put in by our Shrewsbury architects team here at Johnson Design Partnerships. They understand that a care home isn’t an ideal place to send a loved one, even if it’s for the best, and so each multisensory architecture garden design aims to be as unique as possible. Whilst sticking to the criteria of being accessible and considering the specific needs of certain residents. This means we can balance our own creativity and skillset with the more formal rigmarole that comes with each project- it’s about building a lasting personal relationship with all involved so that ultimately staff, residents, and their families don’t just feel like another number on a sheet, they feel like human beings.