Summerset opened its first purpose-built 20-bed memory care centre for people with dementia at its Levin retirement village in November 2016.
Secure memory care home size and density
The centre offers 10 standard care rooms, a secure outdoor garden and communal lounge areas. There are also 10 single bedroom apartments, complete with a kitchenette, living area and ensuite.
The centre’s size and design allows residents to live in a safe homelike environment. Residents are encouraged to maintain their independence as much as possible by continuing with activities and routines they have always enjoyed. They are free to go wherever they like, such as to the secure outdoor garden areas, the living space, one of the sitting rooms or their own living areas or bedroom.
The apartments are designed to provide a separate living area where residents can spend time with visitors in their own lounge and make refreshments in the kitchenette. The apartment rooms provide a quiet space for residents, which is beneficial when they need time away from the higher stimulus common areas.
A second small lounge provides easy access to a separate area that allows residents to comfortably meet with families or participate in activities.
The open plan kitchen dining and living area provides space and offers residents a feeling of independence. Residents are encouraged to actively participate in the food preparation occurring in the kitchen or sit awhile and watch fellow residents and staff as they work.
Gardens and environs
The building design is based around circles so residents always find their way back to the main lounge kitchen area. It also allows for independent easy access from indoors to outside into the well-designed flat garden.
The outdoor area is large enough to accommodate most of the residents at the same time, enabling them to enjoy experiencing nature as well as allowing them to exercise in fresh air.
The garden has a mix of grass and features circular paths with no dead ends, so residents can freely and safely explore in the area. Raised garden beds enable residents to easily tend the plots, and comfortable seating and tables offer pleasant places to relax outdoors.
This area’s design promotes independence and offers many therapeutic benefits to residents. It is clearly visible from indoors, which promotes it as an extension of the indoor space.