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Introducing Lowther dementia hub

Lowther is a purpose built dementia-friendly environment designed by our specialist dementia, multi-disciplinary team (MDT), staff and carers.

The setting represents a significant step forward in the care and support of people with dementia who present with complex behaviours, or may have restrictions imposed by the MHA or criminal justice service. 

Our wards

Lowther's four wards recognise the different care requirements during the phases of dementia:

Aspen - Male admission 

Redwood - Male complex and challenging behaviours

Elm - Male mid stage and end of life care

Cherry - Female ward and end of life care

Dementia Hub Video

 

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Inclusive design is the 'silent partner' in care delivery

Because people with dementia have needs that change over time we have created new environments, effectively the 'silent partner' in care delivery, that support and enhance the therapeutic offering from our MDT.

The Lowther design revolves around a village theme and incorporates a range of supportive technology and design features that improve engagement and enhance quality of life.

A modern environment that embraces the past

Embedded within the core design are numerous features that create a recognisable and calming environment. The central avenue replicates a local community, with post office, launderette and other amenities to help settle patients in a familiar setting. 

A wider campus full of activities and support

Set in 120 acres of beautiful parkland our campus promotes the positive physical and psychological benefits of engaging in outdoor activities, or the simple joy of a wide horizon. Together with the broader medical specialities of a hospital site we combine the physical and emotional care of our patients with expert neuro-behavioural support.

Exploring the hub: Care Zones

  • Crisis admission to de-escalate behaviours that challenge
  • Intensive treatment and high-needs assessments
  • Mid to long term support and activities
  • Advanced care for latter stages of dementia including end-of-life.
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Village square theme

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Intuitive signage

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Home-from-home environment

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Light and airy spaces

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Specialist care

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Quiet spaces

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Thoughtfully planned environments

Encouraging outside activities 

By expanding on the concept of a dementia village we have created an outside space that helps to maintain familiar routines, encourage activities and provide essential distractions and engagement. 

  • Village Green … where family and patients can meet and spend time together 
  • Post Office and pillar box … a basis of social interaction, and keeping in touch 
  • Village Hall … for activities, meetings and get-togethers – a social hub 
  • Bandstand and bus-stop … to help build daily routines 
  • Raised garden beds … to develop hobbies and involvement 

Patients also have access to the wide range of activities and events on our large campus, including horticulture, music and over 50 acres of parkland. 

Supportive technology and design 

At the heart of our service is an expert team who instinctively understand the needs of people with cognitive impairment.  By combining their extensive experience and the latest design principles our architects created an internal space that is infused with dementia-friendly features, within an inpatient hospital setting; 

  • Circadian Rhythm lighting  …  to follow the 24-hour internal clock, or rhythm, helping the mind to be active during the day and restful at night 
  • Dementia-friendly bathroom taps … which look like traditional cross-headed taps but are automated and will even report changes in cognitive ability, eg if someone repeatedly leaves the taps on. 
  • Acoustic dampening … to reduce and divert noise levels in ward environments 
  • Memory boxes and coloured bedroom doors … to aid with recognition 
  • Comforting visual prompts … such as fireplaces in the lounges and a range of personalised artwork 
  • Areas for privacy … separated by lowered internal walls to provide individual spaces while allowing a clear line of sight for staff 

Signage developed through the latest research

Navigating new and familiar surroundings can disorientate, confuse and even lead to delirium for those with dementia. When a person’s cognitive function is impaired can they really rely on symbols that require memory and deduction?

A review of existing signage in dementia settings by The University of Edinburgh, University of Stirling and StudioLR found that many were clinical and aesthetically unsophisticated, and reinforced an institutional atmosphere. It highlighted that greater consideration is required around the design, imagery and location of signage in order to increase independence and enable people to live well with dementia.

End of life care 

We recognise the importance of being close to your loved ones, particularly as they reach the end of their journey, so have created a separate suite where family members can visit, and stay overnight if required. 

  • Private access away from the wards … to allow the freedom and privacy to visit loved ones 
  • Private garden with decking … to allow loved ones to access outside