Staff at The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton were delighted to win the Best Interior Dementia Design Award at the 7th National Dementia Care Awards at the Brighton Centre on 3 November.

The Charity’s Surbiton Home, which cares for disabled veterans, including 26 people living with dementia, was nominated for the award by Dementia Care Matters. The award acknowledges: ‘an outstanding dwelling designed for people living with dementia.’

The Home was designed by David Duckworth of Scurr Architects and the interior designer, Lori Pinkerton-Rolet of Park Grove Designs, worked with staff at the Charity to create a stimulating household which is infused with laughter, warmth and love.

The synergy between the staff, the people they care for and the way that they use the environment creates an award-winning formula. The Home is full of props, affectionately known as ‘stuff’. The stuff is deliberate and is selected to be significant and reassuring to the people who live there and to encourage reminiscence. Military memorabilia, a dressing table with perfume and jewellery, a sweet shop, DIY tools, a pool table, an office with typewriter and stationery and an indoor garden fill the area with vibrancy and interest. Hat stands invite people to try on scarves and hats which create a playful atmosphere and encourage spontaneous interactions. Dolls and soft toys generate feelings of nurturing. Bedroom doors are decorated with photos, personal histories and mementoes to individualise each room and aid way-finding. Staff wear decorative aprons which contain small sensory items to act as conversational prompts to support communication with residents. Choice and independence are encouraged, in a stimulating and safe environment, through activities such as gardening, with raised flowerbeds for access from a wheelchair, and glass-fronted fridges to prompt residents to help themselves to a snack when they feel hungry.

Pauline Shaw, Director of Care & Service Development at The Royal Star & Garter Homes commented: “This award recognises the passion of everyone in the Charity and our commitment to providing specialist dementia care in an environment that is tailored to each individual’s needs, from fabrics and furnishings to life stories and memory boxes. The award is so well deserved and a truly inspirational team has achieved great things. I know I’m not alone in feeling very proud of this accolade.”

The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton previously won Pinders Healthcare Design Award 2014, in the ‘Best Dementia Home – Small’ category which rewards quality of care achieved through quality of design.