“We are proud to work with a number of care home developers across the UK, each providing the very highest quality of accommodation and facilities for elderly people,” says Jen Bernard, founder and managing director of Bernard Interiors. Here she explains how…
Despite the serious challenges of coronavirus for everyone in the care home sector, the demand for more and better care homes remains strong.
Knight Frank’s UK Healthcare Property Market Overview for spring-summer 2020 includes information on the impact of the pandemic on the sector. It also says that due to the demographics “the fundamentals for this property sector are still robust”.
September’s JLL report UK Care Homes: An opportunity to build communities and invest capital, with associated podcasts, predicts that “the industry will require over 10,000 additional beds per annum over the next decade to meet demand”.
Our experience over 12 years in this sector has validated our approach, which involves developing a unique brand identity for each care home developer and operator we engage with and tailoring the interior design for each client as part of their individual brand. The brand identity reflects their ethos and values and positions them with their target audience.
To do this we look first at current care provision in the area to maximise results from a business perspective. We then research local history, industries and the environment to see what potential residents would be familiar with and how this could be reflected in the design.
We consider how we can make the home a happy, comfortable and fulfilling part of residents’ life journeys. For staff we consider creating an environment in which they can provide great care safely, and which is designed to streamline routine tasks. As the design progresses, we continue to discuss with our client how the development will be marketed on completion.
We are often involved in projects on two or three homes with the same client simultaneously – working closely with them, the architect and the contractor. Sometimes we can be creating a new development for a client whilst redesigning a home we completed for them 10 years earlier, informed by the latest research on care for elderly people and people living with dementia, to bring it right up to date and refreshing its appeal.
The pandemic has brought several aspects of infection control in care home design – such as reducing physical contact, being able to isolate rooms and facilities, use of antimicrobial materials and space for PPE storage – to the fore. It has also highlighted the need to optimise safe connectivity for residents with their families, friends and medical practitioners, either virtually or through physical screening.
We have a high level of repeat business testifying to the success of our holistic approach. The brands we have developed for clients have helped them to evolve and grow and, when required, to be in prime position for resale.