For five years, our Grander Designs programme has been bringing the communal facilities of our 65 independent living communities right up to date.
These shared spaces for residents to enjoy are beautiful, modern and relaxing. We’ve also integrated disability awareness and accessibility into the heart of the design in line with HAPPI (Housing for an Ageing Population) principles.
Enabling free movement into and around our buildings is key, with level access thresholds, automated doors and suitable safety flooring with minimal colour and step transitions, low glare surfaces and low pattern on the ground - all aimed at supporting those with dementia, sensory impairments and other disabilities.
Colour on the walls creatively assists our residents with way finding, for example by painting colour borders around doors, having colour-coded corridors on different floors, all with co-ordinating artwork. The artwork has two purposes, to provide interest and be visually appealing in its own right, also to provide an important prompt to remind someone about where they are. Plentiful signs around our larger buildings are clear, bold and thoughtfully placed.
We've installed comfortable lighting levels suited for different activities so our residents can participate in as many different activities as possible. We have added wireless hearing induction loops to all our communal lounges as well, so that residents with hearing aids can participate more fully.
We think carefully about furniture, with mixed style seating that's easy to get in and out of. There's a;so plenty of circulation space for people who have walkers or wheelchairs.
Outside, seating is arranged in a formation to encourage social interaction and we have introduced raised beds to encourage our residents to come outdoors and be more active.
And because we design improvements in consultation with our residents, listening to their ideas and incorporating them into our designs, Grander Designed spaces are truly inclusive for all.